Clifton man who drowned in river may have had fit

A CLIFTON man who drowned in a river may have fallen in after “blacking out”, an inquest heard today (Tuesday).

Jason Cadd, who lived with his parents in Brickle Place, Clifton, was found by his father face-down in the River Ivel in Stanford Lane on June 15 this year, Bedford Coroner’s Court was told.

The 35-year-old, who was known locally as ‘Caddy’, had disappeared from his home two days before he was found to go for a walk.

It is believed that Hitchin-born Mr Cadd, who suffered from epilepsy and asthma, may have blacked out before falling into the river, although coroner David Morris said that he could not be certain either way.

He added that although a very small amount of alcohol and cannabis was found in Mr Cadd’s system, he did not think it would have contributed, and that the latter could have been taken several days previously. There were no suspicious circumstances or evidence of suicide, he said.

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“The medical cause was identified as immersion. There was no evidence of trauma, violence of toxicology,” said Mr Morris.

“He regularly went for long walks on his own, but would normally return after a few hours. His father went looking for him on June 15 and found him face down [in the river]. The grass was trodden down, indicating he may have fallen in the water.

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“Tests do not show that he had a fit. His medical history was given to the pathologist and he would have been looking out for any signs. Because of the drowning, I did not authorise an exam of the brain in detail, which might have told a little bit more, but often doesn’t.

“We have no reason to believe he jumped in. He was standing on the side of the river, he may not have had a major fit but may have blacked out. If you are not expecting to go in, you are overcome very rapidly. It’s very sad.”

Pc Brendan Street, from Bedfordshire Constabulary, was called to the scene when Mr Cadd was found. He confirmed that there were no suspicious circumstances surrounding his death.

“His father explained that Mr Cadd often went on long walks, and did not tell him where he was going,” said Pc Street.

“He said that he had started walking along the route that his son took - he had previously fallen in after a fit. Walking this familiar route was how his father came across him.

“His mother still did not know what had happened to their son, so his father was keen to return home and speak to her.

“I did not see the body, but a search revealed no suspicious injuries. There was nothing to suggest it was suspicious.”

Mr Morris recorded a verdict of death by falling into the River Ivel, and passed on his condolences to Mr Cadd’s family.

After the verdict, Mr Cadd’s father, whose statement was not read out in the court at the discretion of Mr Morris, said that his son would be “sadly missed”.

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