Godmanchester man's river death still a mystery

A coroner investigating the death of a student from Godmanchester who drowned in the River Avon in Bath has recorded an open verdict. University of Gloucestershire student Jonathan Haldane, 20, had been on a night out in the city celebrating the end of hi

A CORONER investigating the death of a student from Godmanchester who drowned in the River Avon in Bath has recorded an open verdict.

University of Gloucestershire student Jonathan Haldane, 20, had been on a night out in the city celebrating the end of his exams in May.

But he became separated from a group of friends at the Second Bridge nightclub in Mavers Street.

Three days later his body was recovered from the river by a police dive team.


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The 20-year-old, from Godmanchester had been studying for a sports science degree.

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

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Witness Lydia Meddings described how she had seen the student drink a concoction of spirits while inside the club.

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

Member of the public Daniel Wild was walking along the river bank at the time 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 that there was 'precious little other evidence' for him to go on: "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.

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