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Verdict given on death of Rushmere St Andrew golfer Philip Shard following lightning strike

PUBLISHED: 16:49 25 September 2017

Philip Shard. Picture: CONTRIBUTED BY FAMILY

Philip Shard. Picture: CONTRIBUTED BY FAMILY

Archant

A 60-year-old grandfather died from the injuries he sustained when he was struck by lightning at a Suffolk golf course, a coroner has found.

An inquest into the death of Philip Shard, from Rushmere St Andrew, was concluded during a hearing at Suffolk Coroners’ Court in Ipswich on Monday.

IT consultant Mr Shard died at Ipswich Hospital on May 31 this year following an incident at Fynn Valley Golf Course in Witnesham on May 27.

Coroner Dr Daniel Sharpstone read out a witness statement from Mr Shard’s friend Brian Goldsmith, with whom Mr Shard was playing golf on the day he was hit by lightning.

Mr Goldsmith said it was sunny when the pair started their game at 9.30am, but later a storm broke out, with thunder, lightning and hail.

He added: “I was on the green and I looked over to see Philip putting on his water proof jacket as the hail was getting heavier.

“When I went back Philip had disappeared.

“As I walked back across the green there was a loud crack of thunder and lightning. I continued across the green and wandered towards a row of trees, assuming Philip was sheltering from the hail.

“I found him unconscious under a large conifer tree.”

Mr Goldsmith ran to get help and members of the public performed CPR on Mr Shard, who had gone into cardiac arrest, before the arrival of paramedics.

An air ambulance attended but Mr Shard was transported by land ambulance to Ipswich Hospital. He died four days later, having suffered a hypoxic brain injury.

Dr Sharpstone recorded the verdict as accidental due to a lightning strike.

Mr Shard leaves behind wife Lesley, daughters Emma and Elizabeth, son-in-laws Matt and Chris and grandchildren Eloise, Florence, Francis and Claudia.

Paying tribute to her father in this newspaper after his death, Elizabeth Griggs said: “Dad was very loud, made an impression on everyone he met and made friends easily.

“He had a joke for everyone. He would help anyone who was in need, and always had time to see his family, especially his four grandchildren whom he adored.

“Dad always enjoyed doing artistic projects, whether it be designing his garden or sitting patiently with the grandchildren to draw and do crafts.”

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