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Shropshire father-of-four took his own life in river

South Shropshire | News | Published:

A missing father-of-four found drowned in a river had tied a rucksack full of bricks to his back, an inquest heard.

The body of Martin Powell-Bevan was found in the water near the banks of the River Teme in Ludlow by firefighters scouring the water in an inflatable boat.

The 47-year-old, who looked after children with disabilities at Vision Homes Association in Ludlow, had not been seen for two days when his empty car was spotted on Temeside and a river search was mounted.

The inquest was told he had gone into the river two weeks before he disappeared and had taken an overdose earlier in the month.

Inspector Martin Taylor of West Mercia Police went to the scene on July 22. He told the inquest: "I was made aware that the fire and rescue service who had been searching the river using a small inflatable boat had located the body of a man on the river bed.

"The deceased had a rucksack on his back that was tied on. It would have been very difficult if not impossible for that rucksack to have come off his back. When I looked inside the rucksack I found several bricks."

Mr Powell-Bevan had a history of anxiety and depression and was known to mental health services, the inquest heard.

The former Coleham Primary and Clee View Primary pupil married Lynne Baker in 1988 and they had daughters Chloe and Rebecca. The couple divorced and Mr Powell-Bevan had daughters Isla and Martha with partner Stacey Tranter. He also leaves behind mother Eileen Hughes, stepfather Alan Hughes and sisters Rose and Sue.

Mr John Ellery, coroner for Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin, recorded a verdict of suicide.

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