Shane Walsh inquest: Changes to be made after Shrewsbury river tragedy
Changes will be made after a father-of-two died in the River Severn in Shrewsbury.
Shane Walsh, from Shrewsbury, fell into the river at Frankwell on September 3 this year.
After days of searching the river, the 29-year-old’s body was recovered on September 6, near to where he entered the water.
John Ellery, coroner for Shropshire, Telford & Wrekin, concluded that Mr Walsh’s death was an accident at an inquest held yesterday at Shirehall.
Mr Walsh was out at a family party in Church Stretton before getting the train to Shrewsbury with his friend, the inquest heard.
He went to the Yorkshire House pub, Bonds, and then Fever and Boutique, after being asked to leave by door staff at 3.43am.
Mr Walsh was then seen on CCTV walking down the alley beside the club, very unsteady on his feet before falling, and then making his way to the railings by the river.
Footage then showed Mr Walsh over the railings beside a tree before the camera turns and it then shows rippling of water where he had fallen in.
As a result of the incident the club is now recording “walk outs”, people who door staff remove from the club, and giving out water to more people as a result of Mr Walsh’s death.
Doorman Dave Scott said: “We’ve started recording walk outs now but we didn’t before, only fights or incidents involving the police.
“Mr Walsh walked out peacefully, he was on his feet and didn’t seem like he needed any care to us.”
Following the incident more railings are being put around the river by Shropshire Council, and a hedge is being grown near to where Mr Walsh fell in, the inquest heard.
Speaking at the conclusion of the inquest, Mr Ellery also said he would recommend that the town’s CCTV cameras are monitored on the busier nights, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday, until the town quietens, as the inquest heard the person who was monitoring the cameras finished work just before Mr Walsh fell in the water.
Investigating officer and family liaison officer, Andrea Marston, said that in previous years the CCTV monitoring staff had called the police when people were near the water but because of funding cuts the cameras are now not manned all the time now.
The inquest heard that the post mortem revealed Mr Walsh had an alcohol blood level of 196 milligrammes of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood, the drink drive limit is 80. The doctor said that as the post mortem was not carried out for four days, the level could have been 50 above or below at the time of his death.
Mr Walsh’s family said he was at times attracted to the river and would sit by it when he was drunk or upset.
Mr Ellery said: “I will ask that the monitoring cameras are on until the night time economy stops.
“As for the river, we’ve got to strike a balance between making it safe but still allowing the public to enjoy it.
“I applaud the family’s efforts, going out to stop others going near the river at night.
“Shane seems to have had an attraction to the river, the most likely thing is that he’s lost his balance and he’s gone straight in the river. The temperature of the river would be a shock to anyone’s system, and we know that he was found very close to that point.
“I’ve no difficulty in concluding that it was an accident.”
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