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Man whose body was found in river ‘lived a chaotic lifestyle’ inquest hears

PUBLISHED: 15:15 16 April 2020 | UPDATED: 08:34 17 April 2020

Emergency services at the scene after a body was found in River Waveney near Diss. Picture: Simon Parkin

Emergency services at the scene after a body was found in River Waveney near Diss. Picture: Simon Parkin

Archant

A man whose body was found in the River Waveney by a dog walker “lived a chaotic lifestyle” trying to overcome drug issues, an inquest has heard.

The River Waveney close to where a body was found at Wortham Ling, near Diss. Picture: Simon ParkinThe River Waveney close to where a body was found at Wortham Ling, near Diss. Picture: Simon Parkin

The body of Jason Mayhew, a 40-year-old marketing assistant from Diss, was found in the river on Tuesday, November 26, by a woman who was walking her dogs at the time.

An inquest into his death on Thursday heard how the woman had noticed body after her dog had approached a bush by the water’s edge.

In a statement read out by area coroner Yvonne Blake, the woman said: “At first I looked for a duck or a swan and then saw his ear sticking out of the water.”

She then alerted the police who attended the scene and recovered Mr Mayhew’s body, identifying him by the contents of his wallet.

Emergency services at the scene after a body was found in River Waveney near Diss. Picture: Simon ParkinEmergency services at the scene after a body was found in River Waveney near Diss. Picture: Simon Parkin

The inquest heard how Mr Mayhew, who was born in Norwich, was staying in a Solo Housing hostel on Victoria Road in Diss at the time of his death - an organisation which helps homeless people work towards independent living.

In evidence read out at the inquest, senior support worker Desmond McMurray described how Mr Mayhew had been making progress in overcoming a substance problem.

In a statement read out at the hearing, he said: “By his own admission he lived a chaotic lifestyle.

“He was a personable man who responded quite to a notice to quit and welcomed support.”

Mr McMurray added how in early 2019, Mr Mayhew had been traumatised by witnessing a serious road traffic collision involving a fellow resident to whom he had a strong relationship with.

In the weeks prior to his death, Mr Mayhew had voluntarily reduced his methadone prescription and was seeking the support of Change, Live, Grow in Cambridge, where he often visited,

A pathologist said that a number of drugs were in his system at the time of his death.

Delivering a narrative conclusion, Ms Blake said: “I do not know how Mr Mayhew came to be in the water.

“He died as a result of drowning, contributed to by a mixture of drug toxicity.”


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