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Teenager found dead in Shropshire golf club pond, inquest told

Telford | News | Published:

A teenager who fled a Shropshire hotel in just his boxer shorts was found dead in a pond nearly 48 hours later after police failed to find him, an inquest has heard.

Tyrone Lock, 18, fled the hotel at Hill Valley Golf Club in Whitchurch after claiming there were "demons" in his room.

Staff called the police because of concerns about his behaviour but he was not found despite a search with dogs.

His family believe police could have done more to look for him and that his life could have been saved if he had been found quicker.

A five-day inquest into his death started at the Park Inn hotel in Telford yesterday.

The hearing was told Mr Lock, from Leominster, had checked into the hotel with friends Len Evans and Jodie Stevens on the afternoon of November 20 last year.

Toxicology reports revealed the teenager had taken ecstasy and other drugs.

Mr Evans, from Condover, near Shrewsbury, giving evidence at the hearing, said the effects of the drug on his friend became more pronounced by about 2.30am the following day.

"He wasn't himself, if you know what I mean," Mr Evans said.

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"They were scared in the room.

"The three of us were lying in bed, the lights were off in the room.

"There was a red light flashing on the wall. I explained it was the fire alarm and nothing else.

"But they thought it was demons in the room.

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"The wind was blowing the curtains open and that was scaring them as well."

The three fled the room and started banging on doors of the other residents, prompting staff to call the police.

CCTV at the hotel showed Lock running out of the hotel at 6.29am on November 21.

He was not seen again until being found dead in the pond by a greenkeeper on the golf course on November 23.

Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin coroner, Mr John Ellery, addressing the jury at the start of the hearing, said: "Police attempted on foot and with police dogs to try and find Tyrone on that Saturday morning.

"Could or should more have been done by the police to find Tyrone?

"Were the police right to classify Tyrone as an outstanding suspect, and not as a cause for concern?

"Those are some of the issues that will be explored during this inquest."

Professor Archie Malcolm, who conducted the post-mortem after Mr Lock's death, said it was hypothermia that caused his death and not drowning.

He said the drugs Mr Lock had taken were not of sufficient quantity to have played any part in his death.

Mr Malcolm said he believed the teenager would have been dead "within a couple of hours" after leaving the hotel because of the combination of a lack of clothes and the cold temperatures.

The pathologist added hypothermia was treatable.

He said: "If Tyrone had been found still alive, even if unconscious, there is a good chance he would have survived."

The inquest continues.

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