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Mystery surrounds death of retired Norfolk judge who drowned in hotel pool

PUBLISHED: 16:19 17 August 2018 | UPDATED: 16:19 17 August 2018

Kings Lynn Coroners Court. Picture: Ian Burt

Kings Lynn Coroners Court. Picture: Ian Burt

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The death of a retired judge who drowned in a pool on holiday remains a mystery, an inquest has heard.

Timothy Lawrence, 75, died on July 30, 2017, whilst on holiday in Kefolonia, Greece, after drowning in a hotel swimming pool.

Greek authorities carried out a post mortem and confirmed his cause of death as drowning in fresh water, caused by obstruction of the coronary arteries of the heart.

At a short inquest hearing in King’s Lynn Coroner’s Court this morning, assistant coroner Johanna Thompson said it was unclear what caused Mr Lawrence to drown in the pool, stating: “This is not an entirely clear explanation.”

Mr Lawrence, who was born in Cromer but later moved to London, was on holiday with his friend Susan Turquet.

In her short statement, which was read out in court, Ms Turquet said they had been staying at the Blue Jasmine Hotel in Skala where they spent the morning of July 30 by the pool.

Only a short while after Mr Lawrence decided to go for a swim, at around 2.30pm, Ms Turquet was asked by another friend whether he was okay, at which point she noticed his lifeless body at the bottom of the pool.

After they pulled his body out of the water, a doctor arrived and used a defibrillator but Mr Lawrence was pronounced dead before being taken away by an ambulance.

His GP, Dr Tim Rees, at Redcliffe Surgery in London, said in his statement that Mr Lawrence was on eight prescribed medications in the year before his death.

In 2007 he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease and in 2008 he was found to be prediabetic, but a blood test in relation to this in 2016 came back as normal.

After hearing all of the evidence, assistant coroner Ms Blake gave a narrative conclusion that Mr Lawrence, of Slaidburn Street, London, died in a swimming pool in circumstances which were not suspicious, while his precise medical cause of death remains unclear.

She expressed her condolences to Mr Lawrence’s family, who were not present at the inquest.

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