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Inquest into the death of Duddington man who drowned in the River Welland at The Meadows in Stamford

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A 28-year-old man who failed to win his fight against alcoholism was found drowned in the River Welland at Stamford, an inquest heard.

An afternoon dog walker at The Meadows spotted the body of Daniel Joseph Freeman in about four feet of water. On the bank nearby were items including a mobile phone, an empty vodka bottle, a newspaper and a notebook.

The hearing at Boston Coroner’s Court yesterday (Wednesday, July 3) heard that Mr Freeman, of High Street, Duddington, had a history of alcohol abuse which he had tried to tackle by enrolling on support courses.

Tragic Danny cuddles his beloved niece Rebecca (13370881)
Tragic Danny cuddles his beloved niece Rebecca (13370881)

In written evidence, his GP said Mr Freeman’s alcohol dependence had become more severe over the past three years. The doctor added: “His mood was low at times, thinking that he had let his family down.”

Stepfather David Ormian said after Mr Freeman’s employment ended due to his drink problem, he went to work at The Royal Oak in Duddington. Concerns were raised by his father about his wellbeing and he sought help from his GP, initially responding well to a course of medication.

However, he slipped back into heavy drinking and would often be picked up by emergency services. One episode led to him being treated at Peterborough City Hospital.

In March last year Mr Freeman’s family tried to wean him off alcohol by issuing him only a small amount daily, but at the time of his death on August 31 it was thought he was drinking three litres of spirits and cans of strong lager or cider each day.

A post mortem noted a blood alcohol level at acute toxicity and gave the cause of death as drowning. Mr Freeman was also on an anti-depressant drug which, mixed with the drink, may have affected his emotional state and judgment on the day.

Assistant coroner for Lincolnshire Paul Cooper concluded that the death was drink-related.

More news from this week's Mercury.

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