Open verdict into river death

A MAN who was found dead in the River Orwell had a history of depression and personality disorders an inquest heard.John Cross, 45, from Beverley Road, Ipswich was spotted floating in the river in January after a member of the public raised the alarm.

A MAN who was found dead in the River Orwell had a history of depression and personality disorders an inquest heard.

John Cross, 45, from Beverley Road, Ipswich was spotted floating in the river in January after a member of the public raised the alarm.

But an open verdict was recorded at an inquest at Ipswich Crown Court on Friday as deputy Suffolk coroner Roger Stewart decided that there was not enough evidence to suggest that Mr Cross had intended to take his own life.

The inquest heard how Suffolk police were called at around 5.30am on Sunday, January 26, when an abandoned car was spotted on the westbound carriageway on the Orwell Bridge.


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In documentary evidence read out by Mr Stewart it was revealed how police had arrived at the scene to find an empty silver Citroen Y-reg parked on the bridge.

Coastguards were alerted when police spotted a body in the river and it was eventually identified as Mr Cross.

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Mr Stewart said that no evidence had been found of drug or alcohol abuse but medical reports had indicated that there were problems with depression and a personality disorder and he was on medication.

Pathology reports showed that Mr Cross had died from multiple injuries caused by the fall.

He said: "The condition had prevailed for a long time but at no time was there any suicidal attempts or risk of self harm.

"His mother was contacted and again she gave no reason for why there should be any suicide although she was aware that there was depression."

Because of the lack of evidence Mr Stewart said he had no other choice than to record an open verdict.

He said: "We have the case of a person who has gone to Orwell Bridge and ended up in the water for no reason at all.

"Although there is evidence to show he was in a state of depression there is nothing to suggest he intended suicide."

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