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Death of 'thoughtful, loving and helpful' Essex student who fell from Orwell Bridge in Ipswich ruled suicide



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A 22-year-old student from Essex who fell from the Orwell Bridge last summer died by suicide, Suffolk Coroner's Court has ruled today.

Mark Reedman, of Pear Tree Way in Clacton-On-Sea, had been reported missing to police by worried family members when he left his home on June 15 to fill his car with petrol and didn't return.

His mother Jane and brother Gary found a note left in Mark's room and traced his mobile phone location to Ipswich.

Mark Reedman had been reported missing to police by worried family members when he left his home on June 15 and didn't return. Picture by Mark Westley
Mark Reedman had been reported missing to police by worried family members when he left his home on June 15 and didn't return. Picture by Mark Westley

Informing officers of the discovery, the pair went out to search in the early morning of June 16.

The inquest was told they found Mark's car parked on The Strand while police officers, who had closed the A14 to carry out a search, discovered his personal items including his wallet and jacket.

A search of the water was then conducted, with an RNLI lifeboat called in from Harwich and a police helicopter and fire service drones dispatched.

Suffolk Coroner's Court heard Mark's car was found parked below the A14 Orwell Bridge. Picture: Mark Westley
Suffolk Coroner's Court heard Mark's car was found parked below the A14 Orwell Bridge. Picture: Mark Westley

The 22-year-old's body was discovered by the helicopter close to Woolverstone Marina. Mark's body was taken to a nearby yacht club where he officially was pronounced dead by land ambulance crews at 8.47am.

During the inquest, Coroner Nigel Parsely described Mark's death as 'unusual' in that he had no history of mental health issues or struggles.

"There is no indication whatsoever that anything was wrong at all," Mr Parsely added.

A statement from Mark's mum Jane described her son as 'thoughtful, loving and helpful'. She said prior to June 16 she believed Mark was 'happy'.

The 22-year-old's body was discovered by the helicopter around 1km from the bridge close to Woolverstone Marina. Picture by Mark Westley
The 22-year-old's body was discovered by the helicopter around 1km from the bridge close to Woolverstone Marina. Picture by Mark Westley

"He was always full of jokes and didn't appear to me or my older son Gary to be depressed at all," she said.

The court heard Jane would often refer to her and her two sons as 'the three musketeers' and said: "Me and Gary loved him so much - we want him back."

Mr Parsely said a toxicology report confirmed Mark had no substances in his system at the time of his death.

He added that the postmortem examination found Mark died as a result of injuries acquired from falling from a height and concluded the death was a suicide.

Giving his conclusion, he told Mark's family: "There is nothing that I have seen that would have allowed you the opportunity to do anything. There is no detail of information that would even make you suspicious that this was likely to happen."

For more information on how we can report on inquests, click here.

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