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Inquest told of Snettisham man’s mystery death

The crest above the entrance to King's Lynn Court in College Lane.
The crest above the entrance to King's Lynn Court in College Lane.

An inquest into the death of a retired maintenance worker in Snettisham has not been able to shed light on why he died.

Philip Smith, 68, was found on a sofa in his caravan at Snettisham Caravan Park by a friend on Sunday, June 4, after no one had heard from him for two days.

The hearing at King’s Lynn Coroner’s Court on Friday was told that a post mortem report gave his cause of death as unascertained and toxicology tests found no traces of alcohol in his system.

A statement from his wife of 50 years, Jill Smith, said: “He was all I had known since I was 14. I love and miss him dearly. It breaks my heart that we don’t know why he died.”

Mrs Smith said the pair had their “ups and downs” and after they separated four years ago, he spent much of his time in the caravan while she lived near Peterborough.

She said they continued to speak two or three times a day, and she still considered herself to be married to him.

Although her attempts to speak to Mr Smith on the Saturday were unsuccessful, she knew he was a Manchester United fan and a game was on that weekend.

Emergency services were called to the park on Sunday at about 7.50pm where he was found “slumped” on the sofa.

PC Francine Heath said there were no signs of disturbance in the caravan, no signs of injury and no suspicious circumstances.

Assistant coroner for Norfolk Johanna Thompson recorded an open conclusion.

Speaking to the 20 members of friends and family who attended the inquest, she said: “I appreciate it is not a satisfactory outcome when there is just no evidence on which to base a conclusion.”

She offered them her condolences.

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