River death man had talked of suicide

A CANCER sufferer whose body was discovered floating in an Ipswich river had spoken of taking his life to friends, an inquest heard.

A CANCER sufferer whose body was discovered floating in an Ipswich river had spoken of taking his life to friends, an inquest heard.

James Crimmins, a concrete finisher known as Jimmy, had been battling cancer and was going through a rough period before his body turned up in the River Gipping near West End Way on June 5.

His body had gone unidentified for several days, sparking a missing person investigation, until finger prints at a post mortem identified him.

The 62-year-old had been battling liver cancer at the time of his death but although police were satisfied there were no third parties involved in his death, suicide could not be determined from the evidence, the inquest at Suffolk East Suffolk Magistrates' Court heard on Wednesday.

Detective Sergeant Andrew Footer, who led Suffolk Constabulary's investigation into Mr Crimmins' death, told the court how a member of the public had spotted a body floating in the river by a new building development.

He said only a set of keys was found on his body, which they later used to confirm he lived at St Georges Street, Ipswich.

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He added there were no obvious signs of how he had come to enter the water.

A friend of Mr Crimmins said through a statement read out to the court that Mr Crimmins had talked of killing himself and they had been very concerned for his welfare.

The post mortem examination conducted by a consultant pathologist could not definitely say the cause of death was drowning, but it was a possibility.

Recording an open verdict, Dr Dean said: “Many unanswered questions remain. We do not definitely know from the evidence how he came to be in the water.”

Mr Crimmins, who was born in Maldon, Essex, had no close relatives still alive.

John Douglas, owner of the Rose and Crown pub in Norwich Road, previously paid tribute to his former worker.

“He was the most down-to-earth honest bloke you could meet. He was as honest as the day is long,” he said.

“He had cancer in the liver for a long time.

“The last time I saw him he did say he was in a lot of pain. It's a sad end for a good man.”

How will you remember James Crimmins? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk