Body may have been moved prior to medics attending, inquest hears
PUBLISHED: 16:03 10 January 2019 | UPDATED: 14:07 11 January 2019
An inquest of a man found dead at a flat in Bury St Edmunds has heard his body may have been moved prior to paramedics arriving on scene.
Father-of-two Mark Harris, 24, was found dead on January 11, 2016, in the flat of his ex-partner in College Mews.
On the fourth day of the inquest, the pathologist who conducted his post mortem examination said she had recorded the cause of death as hanging.
However, barristers representing Mr Harris’ family asked for a forensic pathologist to look over the case.
Barrister Ruth Brander said that during the inquest, paramedic Joe Dowsing had said in a witness statement that the position of Mr Harris’ body when he entered the flat was “unusual”.
Mrs Brander said it was possible that the body had been moved by a third party before paramedics arrived and that should have given enough cause for concern to necessitate a forensic pathologist to carry out the post mortem examination.
Giving evidence at the inquest in Ipswich on Thursday, January 10, pathologist Dr Iwona Kaminska said that as there had been no clear suspicious circumstances she conducted the examination, despite specialising in histology, the microscopic study of tissue, rather than forensics.
“I conducted this post mortem because suspicious circumstances had been excluded,” she said.
Area coroner Jacqueline Devonish asked for a forensic pathologist to look into the case to answer questions not yet answered by Dr Kaminska.
The inquest had previously heard emergency services had been called at around 1.40pm by Mr Harris’ ex-partner Laura Manning for a welfare check after he had messaged her threatening to take his own life.
A police officer and a PCSO had visited the flat at around 2.20pm but did not force entry.
His body was not found until around 5.20pm.
But Miss Manning’s evidence was challenged by barristers as phone calls she claimed to have had with paramedics later that day were shown not to have occurred.
They suggested that she was in shock and had not remembered correctly as three years had passed.
The inquest had also heard Mr Harris had been taken into police custody on January 8, 2016 and released in the early hours of January 10.
The inquest continues.