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Former soldier, 20, drowned in ditch after taking cocaine and ketamine

PUBLISHED: 14:54 21 January 2019 | UPDATED: 08:03 22 January 2019

An inquest determined James Cossey drowned following a rave in Somerleyton last year. Photo courtesy of Angus Ives.

An inquest determined James Cossey drowned following a rave in Somerleyton last year. Photo courtesy of Angus Ives.

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A former soldier drowned in a drainage ditch after taking cocaine and ketamine at an illegal rave, an inquest heard.

An inquest determined James Cossey drowned following a rave in Somerleyton last year. Photo courtesy of Angus Ives.An inquest determined James Cossey drowned following a rave in Somerleyton last year. Photo courtesy of Angus Ives.

James Cossey’s body was discovered in marshland on Somerleyton Estate at around 9am on Sunday, May 20, 2018.

A farmer initially raised the alarm after noticing what he believed to be a hand submerged in a ditch.

When police and fire crews removed the body from the water it was fully clothed and contained a wallet identifying the Norwich man - along with wraps of cocaine and ketamine.

On Monday, January 21, an inquest heard how Mr Cossey, of Clover Road, attended an illegal rave in Somerleyton the night before his body was discovered.

The 20-year-old, who had completed basic training with the Army but left in the months prior to his death, was known as “a person who liked to party”.

At the rave he was seen stumbling as he walked and was described as “out of it”.

Suffolk Police were first made aware of the rave at around 1.15am after British Transport Police received reports of people congregating near the railway line.

People had been walking along the line to get to the small rave in a nearby marsh.

However, as the rave was causing very little disruption and taking place in an isolated area it was allowed to continue.

While the exact details of how Mr Cossey came to be in the ditch are unknown, police are not treating the death as suspicious.

A post-mortem found no markings of defence or restraint which would signify the involvement of others.

The former soldier’s lungs were found to be over-expanded - consistent with injuries sustained in drowning – and a toxicology report showed he had consumed alcohol, cocaine and ketamine.

Following the inquest Mr Cossey’s mother, Lynn Cossey said: “Everyone misses him, there is just a void. No parent should have to go through this.”

The grieving mother said she did not want her son’s memory tarnished by his drug use and hoped his death could act as a lesson to others.

She added: “He had recreational drugs on him but that wasn’t him. He was a lovely, hard-working man. I just hope someone has learnt by this to stay safe when they go out.”

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