Popular musician died in river fall

IPSWICH: A musician who was found floating in the River Orwell died in a “tragic set of circumstances”, an inquest was told.

Paul Ablett, 57, had been on the way to have a meal at his mother’s house when he fell into the river on July 28.

At an inquest into his death held at Ip-City on Tuesday, it was revealed that Mr Ablett had consumed a “large” amount of alcohol before the fall.

Coroner Dr Peter Dean said that the former Suffolk College tutor had a heart condition and that this, combined with the effects of near-drowning, caused a hypoxic brain injury which he died from.

Dr Dean said that there was no evidence to suggest Mr Ablett had tried to harm himself and stated that the fall could have been accidental.

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Mr Ablett, of Ashmere Grove, Ipswich, was treated by paramedics and then taken to Ipswich hospital where he died as a result of his injuries on July 30.

The inquest heard that Mr Ablett’s “motionless” body had been spotted face-down in the water near Princes Street bridge and police officers were called to drag him out.

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A toxicology report compiled after Mr Ablett’s death showed he had 335 milligrams of alcohol in 100 millilitres of blood. The drink drive limit is 80 milligrams.

Dr Dean recorded a narrative verdict. He said: “Mr Ablett was on the way to see his mum when he died in a tragic set of circumstances.

“For some reason it appears that he fell in to the water. There is no evidence to suggest he tried to harm himself.

“It could have been accidental or as a result of the large alcohol level present. But we know Mr Ablett was alive before he fell in.”

Liz Ware, Mr Ablett’s partner, said: “Paul was a very special man. He was kind and sensitive and he valued the simple pleasures of life.

“Even in death he was in a place that he loved, down by the river, enjoying the natural world that was so important to him.

“This has been and continues to be a very difficult time as I try to adjust to life without Paul. I miss him so much and he has left a great void in my life, but I will always treasure the special time I shared with him.”

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