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Last Updated: Wednesday, 9 June, 2004, 14:31 GMT 15:31 UK
Man's lane death still a mystery
Coroner's report
Corner Alan Crickmore said the inquest's aim was to establish facts.
An inquest has failed to solve the mystery behind the death of a man whose body was found in a country lane.

The body of Shaun James, 32, was found in a lane in Steam Mills soon after he left his local pub in December 2002.

A post-mortem examination found his injuries could have come from being involved in a car accident, but his family claim he was murdered.

Coroner Alan Crickmore, who recorded an open verdict, said his purpose was to establish facts not apportion blame.

Mr James, a builder and father-of-three, from Cinderford, Gloucestershire, was found dead soon after leaving the pub on 15 December 2002.

His body was discovered in an unlit lane in the village of Steam Mills.

Multiple fractures

A Home Office pathologist said his death was due to blunt injury to the trunk, including multiple rib fractures and lacerations of the lung and liver.

Other witnesses said the Upper Bilson Inn was one of several pubs Mr James had been drinking in that afternoon.

No-one knows how much alcohol he had drunk, but medical evidence described his condition as one of "extreme drunkenness".

He had also used cannabis and cocaine sometime before his death.

A 15-month police investigation into the death was brought to an end in March.

But Mr James' family are determined to solve the mystery behind his death and have set up a website to help with the search for new evidence.

Inquiry closed over mystery death
07 Mar 04  |  Gloucestershire
Reward offered on 'unexplained' death
09 Dec 03  |  Gloucestershire

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