Mother tells of murder arrest

PUBLISHED: 16:04 03 December 2001 | UPDATED: 10:58 03 March 2010

THE Ipswich mother, arrested on suspicion of murder, told today how the death of a teenager who collapsed in her house resulted in almost half her family being held.

THE Ipswich mother, arrested on suspicion of murder, told today how the death of a teenager who collapsed in her house resulted in almost half her family being held.

Carol Ring, 54, spoke after she and two of her sons were released from almost 24 hours in custody where they were quizzed about the death of 17-year-old Ipswich teenager Ashley Horman.

Mrs Ring, her two sons Craig, 17, and Matthew, 24, were only released when a post mortem examination yesterday revealed the teenager died on Saturday night as a result of serious heart problems.

Mrs Ring told how she spent Saturday evening wrapping Christmas presents with Craig, in the living room of their home in Shakespeare Road, as Ashley, Matthew and another friend played computer games upstairs.

The first she knew of the tragedy rapidly unfolding in her house was when Craig told her Ashley had collapsed outside.

"I thought he was having an asthma attack," she said.

"I got some water and said 'come on Ashley.'

"Things didn't look right so I said to Craig's girlfriend, phone an ambulance."

Mrs Ring told how Matthew and her daughter Tracey, 31, who lives nearby, tried to revive Ashley as ambulance crew coached them over the phone.

"Tracey and Matthew were giving him the kiss of life. They were taking turns, one was breathing and one was pumping. They wouldn't give up on him. Matthew wouldn't stop."

Mrs Ring said after the post mortem examination proved the death was due to a heart condition, they were released from police custody where they had been kept in separate cells since their arrest at around 10pm on Saturday.

And a doctor then confirmed that nothing could have been done to save the teenager, she added.

Mrs Ring said she had not got over the horror of being arrested.

"I don't think it's hit me yet. I can't believe we were accused of his death before anyone knew what happened to Ashley. To say he was murdered, it was far from it. They did everything they could to save him. There was no one could have saved him, the doctor said."

"It's the worst thing, being accused of murder. He could have been on his own walking down the street and no one could have saved him. The doctor said if he'd been here trying to save him, he couldn't have done."

Her son Craig said he had still not come to terms with Ashley's death or his own arrest on suspicion of murder.

"I didn't think it was right they arrested us for murder, they should have got the post mortem results first."

Craig said he had known Ashley for around five to six years since the pair met at a youth club.

He said the ordeal of his arrest had left him feeling ill.

"I couldn't hack it that I was getting accused of murder."

The teenager told how police had taken blood tests, urine samples and taken the clothes he was wearing from him, making him change into other clothes.

"We weren't allowed to see each other, we were all in separate cells," Mrs Ring said.

"I was worried about them all."

Matthew, Craig and Mrs Ring were among five people arrested in connection with the teenager's death after ambulance crew were called to the house in Shakespeare Road shortly before 8pm on Saturday where they found the 17-year-old unconscious. He died later in Ipswich Hospital.

Ambulance crews took 11 minutes to reach the scene but gave resuscitation advice over the phone in the meantime.

The Rings and a 14-year-old girl were arrested at the address and an 18-year-old youth was arrested later in Ipswich.

Police launched an investigation and were treating the death as "suspicious" until a post mortem examination by a Home Office pathologist revealed he had been suffering from a "seriously diseased heart".

All those arrested have now been released and police are no longer treating the death as suspicious, though further tests are being carried out and an inquest is likely to be held.

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