Family of drowning victim send drink responsibly message to partygoers

A GODMANCHESTER family is urging people to drink responsibly after their loving and caring son drowned on a night out. Jon Haldane, 20, had been out celebrating the end of his exams in Bath when he became separated from his friends. His body was found

A GODMANCHESTER family is urging people to drink responsibly after their "loving and caring" son drowned on a night out.

Jon Haldane, 20, had been out celebrating the end of his exams in Bath when he became separated from his friends.

His body was found three days later on May 17 in the River Avon - less than a month before his 21st birthday.

Last week, a coroner investigating his death recorded an open verdict.


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A toxicology report found that on the night of his death Mr Haldane had 234mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood - almost three times the legal driving limit.

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Witness Lydia Meddings told the inquest how she had seen him drink a concoction of spirits at a nightclub.

She said: "He drank it through a straw and then lit it. The barman said he had never seen anyone finish it before."

Daniel Wild was walking along the river bank at on the night of May 17 and was the last person to see Mr Haldane alive.

His statement, which was read out in court, said: "I saw something in the water so I shouted out. He was obviously in trouble and looked like he was struggling or was a very bad swimmer.

"I called an ambulance but they were insistent I gave a street name so I had to go and look for a sign. By the time I got back the man had disappeared."

Coroner Terrence Moore confirmed the death was by drowning but said there was "precious little other evidence" for him to go on.

He added: "I record an open verdict because there is insufficient evidence for me to say it was an accident. This is a very sad case. My condolences are with the family."

In a bid to stop this tragedy happening to anyone else, the Haldane family have issued a warning for people going out celebrating this Christmas.

In a statement to The Hunts Post the family said: "The unexpected open verdict has unfortunately confirmed that we will never quite know or understand what happened on the night he died.

"We can, however, now continue on our journey adjusting to life without him and remembering who he really was.

"We would urge people, especially over this Christmas season, not to take their lives for granted and to watch what they drink."

The statement added that he would "remain in the memories of those who knew him well as a loving, caring man whose faith, compassion and friendship were extended to many".

Mr Haldane had been studying for a sports science degree at the University of Gloucestershire. He was the second of three sons and a former pupil of Hinchingbrooke School in Huntingdon.

He was a passionate rugby player and had been described by family and friends as "the kindest of people" and someone who had a "good heart".

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LOVING SON: The drowning of Jon Haldane from Godmanchester still remains a mystery. Picture: SUPPLIED.

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