Open conclusion recorded by coroner into death of man found dead at Snettisham

PUBLISHED: 14:38 03 November 2017 | UPDATED: 14:46 03 November 2017

King's Lynn coroners' court. Picture: Chris Bishop

King's Lynn coroners' court. Picture: Chris Bishop


Mystery surrounds the death of a 68-year-old man who was found dead in his caravan, an inquest heard.

Retired maintenance worker Philip Smith was found on a sofa in his vehicle at Snettisham Caravan Park by a friend on Sunday, June 4.

He had last been seen the previous Friday, King’s Lynn coroner’s court heard.

His cause of death in a post mortem report was recorded as unascertained and toxicology tests found no traces of drug or alcohol in his system.

In a statement, police constable Francine Heath said she arrived at the caravan at around 7.50pm when paramedics were already there.

Her statement read: “The caravan was neat and tidy and there were no signs of disturbance or forced entry.”
She concluded her statement by saying there were no suspicious circumstances or medication found in the caravan.

His wife of 50 years, Jill Smith, said in her statement that Mr Smith was “too fit for his own good.”

She said Mr Smith would not go to the doctors often and would rather pull his own teeth out than visit the dentist.

They had lived in Crowland near Peterborough but he loved spending time in their caravan in Snettisham which they bought four years ago.

She said they had separated four years ago but they spoke on the phone almost every day.

On the Friday and Saturday before he was found dead, she could not get hold of him but knew he was a Manchester United fan and there was a game on that weekend.

She added: “It breaks my heart that I do not know how he died.”

Mr Smith’s GP Dr Fleur England, from the Abbeyview Surgery in Crowland, said in her statement that Mr Smith had no ongoing medical conditions.

He was diagnosed with shingles in 2015 but was not not on regular medication.

After hearing all of the evidence, assistant coroner Johanna Thompson recorded an open conclusion.

She said: “In these circumstances it is difficult to reach a conclusion.”
She added that there were no other findings as to any other reason for Mr Smith’s death.

Ms Thompson offered her sympathies to the 20 members of family and friends who attended the inquest.

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