Man whose body was found in River Wensum, near Costessey Mill, died from drowning, inquest told

PUBLISHED: 14:56 24 January 2014 | UPDATED: 14:56 24 January 2014

The scene at Costessey Mill, when emergency services searched the area for a missing man. Picture: Denise Bradley

The scene at Costessey Mill, when emergency services searched the area for a missing man. Picture: Denise Bradley


An inquest heard that a man whose body was found in the River Wensum at Costessey Mill, near Norwich, died from drowning.

The body of 82-year-old Major Fox - Major was his name not his army rank - was found by emergency service teams after a large scale search of the river on Saturday, January 18.

An inquest was opened in Norwich yesterday and an identification statement was provided by Sgt Neil Williams, who stated that he identified Mr Fox from a photocard driving licence that he found in a wallet in his trouser pocket.

Mr Fox was born in Norwich and lived at Sunny Close in Costessey.

The inquest heard that members of Mr Fox’s family began a search of the local area on the morning of Friday, January 17, after becoming concerned for his welfare.

A short time later they found his car in a car park near to Costessey Mill in The Street, Costessey.

The Ford Focus car was unlocked and there was a note inside, which raised further concern for his welfare.

Emergency services including police officers and search teams from Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service were informed and a short time later they started a search of the river and adjacent areas.

The police helicopter was also called out to fly over the river.

But despite an extensive search of the river in the Drayton Green Lane, Costessey Lane and Lowe Road areas the man was not found and search teams were stood down overnight.

The following morning emergency services resumed their search and were joined by members of the Norfolk Lowland Search and Rescue team and later the fire service diving teams.

Mr Fox’s body was found at about 4.15pm and he was pronounced dead by paramedics just after 5pm.

The inquest heard that a post mortem examination was conducted on January 22 by Dr Jamie Sington at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital, and the cause of death was given as drowning.

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