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Cancer fear Shropshire man found dead in pool did not have disease

North Shropshire | News | Published:

A 71-year-old man who said he had cancer and would be better off killing himself was found drowned with no sign of the disease, an inquest heard.

John Philip Rogers, known as Phil, was found in a pool in a field in Wem after a missing person search which lasted several days.

Mr Rogers had told a friend and a taxi driver he had pancreatic cancer and said: "I would be better off killing myself," an inquest in Shrewsbury heard.

John Philip Rogers

But a post mortem revealed the cause of death to be drowning and found "no evidence of pancreatic or other cancer".

Mr Rogers, of Arden Close, Wem, had been suffering from urine retention and had contacted his medical surgery with concerns about antibiotics he had been given. But he failed to attend an appointment three days later.

Neighbours who had not seen Mr Rogers around and saw his curtains closed for a number of days grew concerned and raised the alarm.

A search was mounted and four days later farm owner Graham Reeves found the body of a man near a pool at the back of Meadow Close.

"The body was later identified as being that of John Philip Rogers," said Mr Philip Tyler, coroner's officer for Shropshire, who read out the written evidence at the hearing on Monday. "A post mortem found no evidence of pancreatic or other cancer," he added.

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Described as a "loner and a worrier", Mr Rogers was grieving the loss of his beloved mother Margaret and pet dog Suzie, Mr Tyler told the inquest.

Mr Rogers was brought up in Powys. His parents moved to Wem where his father passed away and Mr Rogers became a carer for his mother who had Alzheimers.

"He thought the world of his mother and visited her every day with his dog Suzie," said Mr Tyler. But Mr Rogers' mother and dog both died and he was left alone.

"In February he had urine retention and problems with his pancreas and an enlarged prostate," said Mr Tyler. "He told a friend he had pancreatic cancer. He told the same friend he would be better off committing suicide. And he told a taxi driver he had pancreatic cancer and was going to kill himself."

Mr John Ellery, coroner for Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin, recorded an open narrative verdict. He said: "Mr Rogers entered the pool in unknown circumstances."

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