James Corfield: Tragic death of teenager was an accident

By Jonny Drury | Mid Wales | News | Published: | Last Updated:

The death of a talented teenager who was found in a river after a five-day search was an accident, a coroner has said.

James Corfield, 19, from Montgomery, went missing at last year's Royal Welsh Show in Builth Wells.

Specialist crews and hundreds of volunteers spent five days searching for the teen before his body was found in the River Wye on July 30.

The inquest into his death at Welshpool Magistrates Court on Friday heard how he was last seen in CCTV at 11.56pm on July 24 walking towards the direction of the River Wye.

At a packed hearing, Coroner Andrew Barkley attempted to discover how Mr Corfield had come to enter the water, and how he died.

However a post mortem found nothing but a small bruise on his leg, and pathologist Dr Richard Jones said he could not confirm a cause of death.

High risk

Inspector Andrew Pitt, a police search advisor said Mr Corfield was reported missing by his mother Louise, at 2pm on July 24, after failing to meet with family members at the show.

The search was originally low risk, but when it was discovered Mr Corfield had been in touch with none of his friends, it was raised to high risk.


A search was focused on the river, and shortly after 12.30pm on July 30, Mr Corfield's body was found.

James Corfield

Mr Pitt said third party involvement was considered, but he said no information was credible.

He added: "There is no information involving a fight with James, and no information of James being involved in a specific incident with any other third party."


A lengthy inquest heard various pieces of evidence, and CCTV footage from The Groe Car Park in Builth Wells showing Mr Corfield's last sighting was played.

A statement from his mother charted his life and how he had been running his own chicken rearing unit at the family farm in Montgomery.

She paid tribute to her son's life before adding: "I need to make people understand James would never be in the river voluntarily.

"The last thing he did was give me a kiss and said he would be home tomorrow to see to the chickens, and if he would have he would have come home."

Mr Barkley summed up the case and gave his condolences to the Corfield family, before returning a conclusion of accidental death.

Jonny Drury

By Jonny Drury

Senior reporter covering Oswestry and Mid Wales.


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