Inquest rules man found by St Ives lake died in accident

THE death of a man found hanged near a lake on the edge of St Ives was an accident.

Andrew Burford, of Houghton Road, St Ives, 49, was found in a wooded area next to a lake, close to Harrison Way, on January 31.

His wife, Pamela, had raised concerns about his safety the night before. She told an inquest in Huntingdon that she had gone to walk their dog on the morning of January 30 and, when she returned, Mr Burford had already left. That night she called the police.

Zoe Rix, a mental health practitioner at the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Trust, said she had spoken to Mr Burford on the Friday (January 27) while he was at work, where he rated his mood as seven out of 10 and denied he had any intention of killing himself.

The inquest was told Mr Burford had attempted to take his own life in 2003 and, in the weeks leading up to his death, had told his doctor that he had been feeling low and had started to take his anti-depressants again.

Dr Sam Bass, South and West Cambridgeshire deputy coroner, ruled Mr Burford’s death as accidental.

He said: “I cannot say without any doubt that he meant to take his own life. He had tried to before but that was quite a long time ago.

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“Although he died by hanging, I think in the balance of probability it could have been a tragic accident.”