Teenager's death remains a mystery

EXACTLY how a teenager who was found drowned in Ipswich after an illegal rave ended up in the River Orwell may never be known.The body of 17-year-old David Callaghan was found in the water between Stoke Bridge and Princes Street Bridge on October 28.

By Matt Eley

EXACTLY how a teenager who was found drowned in Ipswich after an illegal rave ended up in the River Orwell may never be known.

The body of 17-year-old David Callaghan was found in the water between Stoke Bridge and Princes Street Bridge on October 28.

Post mortem examinations revealed the Colchester youngster had consumed a vast quantity of alcohol, combined with marijuana and ecstasy.


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At an inquest at Ipswich Coroner's Court yesterday witnesses described how he was acting in an erratic manner hours before his death.

However it was not established exactly how he ended up in the river.

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Ipswich Coroner Peter Dean recorded an open verdict and said: "The only verdict open for me to record is an open verdict which reflects we do not know how he came about to be in the river."

Early in proceedings the court heard from Detective Inspector Chris Pryke of Suffolk police who said there was no evidence to suggest any criminal activity had led to David's death.

Mr Dean added: "We have heard that David was employed as a trainee chef and heard he was a working man with all sorts of plans for the future.

"He was not somebody for whom the future was bleak and not somebody who would have intended to harm himself.

"There is no suggestion he was a regular drug user at all but he does seem to have taken some ecstasy."

He continued: "I think the very sad loss of David gives a very stark warning to the dangers of drug use and especially the use with high levels of alcohol."

During the inquest the court heard that after leaving an illegal rave at a warehouse in Ranelagh Road Ipswich, David was nearly run over.

Witnesses described how he attempted to walk through a solid fence about three times.

He was then seen on the tracks at Ipswich train station and had to be escorted from the scene by members of staff.

One witness described him as being "not with us" and said he took a long time to answer questions. After leaving the station David was not seen alive again.

Home office pathologist Dr Michael Heath said David died from immersion and had suffered from hypothermia.

A toxicologists report indicated David, who was 5ft 5ins and weighed six stone, had 126 microgrammes of alcohol in his blood as well as quantities of marijuana and ecstasy.

After the hearing Penny McVeigh, chief executive of NORCAS, an agency that deals with drink and drug related problems said it was essential teenagers were provided with information about the dangers of illegal substances.

She said: "The thing society can do to try to prevent tragedies such these happening is to make sure there is as much information as possible available to people.

"It is possible that young people do not always have the information they need to make sensible decisions."

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