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Mystery surrounds death of 'adventurous' retired carpenter

PUBLISHED: 17:15 13 December 2019 | UPDATED: 17:15 13 December 2019

Ian Holt, 52, died at his home in Pageant Place, Framlingham, in November 2018 Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Ian Holt, 52, died at his home in Pageant Place, Framlingham, in November 2018 Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Archant

Mystery surrounds the death of a 52-year-old man who was found dead at his home in Framlingham.

Ian Holt, a retired carpenter, was discovered at his bungalow in Pageant Place on November 5, 2018, by friends Catherine and Robin Howard after they become concerned about his welfare.

Mr Holt suffered from a rare genetic disease, Friedreich's ataxia, which can cause damage to the brain and spinal cord as well as impairment to movement and speech, which had required surgery to implant metal plates in his back.

At an inquest into his death at Suffolk Coroners Court on Friday, senior coroner Nigel Parsley said Mr Holt's body was so badly decomposed when found, he had to be identified by the serial number on the implant.

Despite his medical condition, the inquest heard Mr Holt was fiercely independent and could often be seen travelling around Framlingham in his electric wheelchair.

It heard he loved travelling and had fallen in love with The Gambia in west Africa, having first visited the country in 2010.

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Mr Howard described Mr Holt as a "interesting, likable chap".

He said: "He was disabled and needed an electric wheelchair.
"But he was pretty adventurous, going to places like The Gambia - way out in the country, not just the cities."

Mr Howard's wife Catherine said in a statement: "Ian was amusing and would make jokes at his own expense. He was self reliant and independent - a nice person to be around."

Mr Howard told the inquest Mr Holt would often travel to the Philippines to see his teenage daughter, and had a trip planned a few months later to attend her graduation.

Mr Holt was seen by friends on the morning of October 10, 2018, and then went for a coffee with another friend later in the day, but had not been seen since.

His friend Scott Price told the inquest he had looked "under the weather" when he last saw him.

The family had raised concerns over the time line of events leading up to his death and had questions about a delivery of pain medication that had been delivered on October 11.

However, concluding the inquest, Mr Parsley said it was believed Mr Holt died between October 13 and early November 2018 but that a cause of death could not be ascertained.

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