Popular Kesgrave man Paul Moore ‘drowned after taking cocaine’, inquest hears
PUBLISHED: 12:42 19 February 2019
A father-of-four from Kesgrave whose body was found washed up on the banks of the River Orwell struggled with an “alter-ego” caused by a debilitating cocaine addiction, an inquest heard yesterday.
Paul Moore, 44, was missing for a month before his body was discovered on the shoreline at Chelmondiston in March 2018.
At an inquest into his death, the self-employed scrap metal dealer was described as a “caring family man, doting on his children, partner and pets” who had struggled with an addiction to cocaine since his twin brother, Peter, passed away in a road traffic accident more than a decade ago.
Leading the inquest, assistant coroner Dan Sharpstone said Mr Moore was “unable to cope” after his brother’s death, and had previously gone through three failed attempts at residential rehabilitation to treat his addiction to Class A drugs.
According to those close to him, Mr Moore would tend to distance himself from his friends and family when going through a relapse – choosing instead to communicate through social media.
On February 5, the day before he was last seen, Mr Moore sent a number of instant messages to his friend, Oathie Lee.
“I love you Oathie,” he said.
“This is hell, but it’s impossible, impossible to stop.
“No one knows how hard this is. I try and try but it’s impossible.”
On February 6, which closely followed the anniversary of his twin brother’s death, Mr Moore’s loved ones were unable to make any further contact with him. At this point, it was confirmed he had been using cocaine.
Dr Sharpstone said Mr Moore was spotted in the vicinity of Orwell Park School in the village of Nacton sometime between 6.15pm and 6.45pm on the day of his disappearance.
Witnesses said he was “staggering in the road” and “appeared to be intoxicated and/or unwell”.
Following an unsuccessful search of the area, Mr Moore remained missing.
His body was later discovered washed up on the banks of the River Orwell in the area of Chelmondiston on Friday, March 9.
He was found with a “very high concentration” of cocaine in his blood.
The inquest heard that Mr Moore lived something of a “double life” and became a “totally different person” when under the influence of cocaine.
He was described as a popular man who cared deeply for his family, and did not wish for them to be hurt by his addiction – which is why he would “take himself off to wooded areas” when in relapse.
Mr Lee described Mr Moore as “well thought of by everyone that knew him”.
“I have known Paul for 10 years [and] got to know him well,” he said.
“Paul was a large man in stature and well thought of by everyone that knew him.
“Paul had struggled for many years with cocaine addiction.”
An investigation was launched into Mr Moore’s disappearance and extensive searches carried out with the help of the coastguard, as well as Suffolk Lowland Search and Rescue teams.
The probe led to the arrest of an Ipswich man aged in his 30s on February 25.
He was released under investigation the following day and a police spokeswoman later said he would face no further action.
Concluding the inquest, Dr Sharpstone said Mr Moore was “clearly tortured” by his addiction.
He gave the cause of death as drowning, on the background of addiction to cocaine, and stressed there were no suspicious circumstances linked to the tragedy.