Son's plea to reopen death inquiry

A SON has called for an investigation to be reopened into his father's death in west Africa.Brian O'Connor, from Ipswich, who was a strong swimmer and experienced scuba diver, was found dead on a beach in Benin on May 7, 2001.

A SON has called for an investigation to be reopened into his father's death in west Africa.

Brian O'Connor, from Ipswich, who was a strong swimmer and experienced scuba diver, was found dead on a beach in Benin on May 7, 2001.

The 57-year-old's death certificate stated he had drowned, although he did have a head injury, and an inquest recorded an open verdict.

His son, Mike, has now called for the investigation to be reopened after learning his father, a former Metropolitan Police officer, had discovered before he died alleged financial irregularities in the company for whom he worked as a recruitment officer.


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Mike O'Connor, 28, from Hacheston, said he believed police in Benin should now revisit the inquiry into his father's death after learning a manager from the company had been jailed for fleecing investors of more than £1m.

"I knew my father better than anyone else did and I would like to see a few more stones unturned. I would like to see the authorities at least continue the investigation," he added.

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A spokesman for the Foreign Office said it could not press the authorities in Benin to reopen their investigation until police in England contacted them to say they had new information.

He added if new evidence was given to the Foreign Office, it would make sure that was passed on to the relevant authorities.

"This is something that would need to go through police channels first. It needs to be presented to the relevant authorities - in this case, that would be the appropriate police department," said the spokesman.

"As to the investigation, that is up to the authorities in Benin, so they would need to see what new evidence was available. We would forward on any information that is necessary and ask to be kept in touch with what was happening."

Mike O'Connor said he had contacted Suffolk police and had been told the first step would be to take any new evidence to Suffolk coroner, Dr Peter Dean, so he could get his father's inquest reopened.

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