A coroner has decided that a sailor who died from the effects of alcohol and heroin probably had the drug adminstered to him by someone else.
Engineering Technician Charles Warrender, who was 22 and served in HMS Richmond, was found dead in the Seychelles in May last year.
His family are upset at the inquest verdict, saying they believe he was unlawfully killed.
ET Warrender was found dead in a park in the Seychelles capital Victoria, with his socks and shoes beside him and an empty wallet. A quantity of high-grade heroin had been sprinkled over his chest.
He had been on a night off as part of the crews’s celebrations of the Queen’s birthday.
Giving a narrative conclusion at the inquest, Grimsby and North Lincolnshire Coroner Paul Kelly said: “There was no objective evidence of illicit drug use by the deceased. The overdose was likely administered by a third party.”
But the sailor’s mother, Kate Warrender, told The Lincolnshire Echo: “We are disappointed with the conclusion. We expected a conclusion of unlawful killing. We believe that he was murdered.”
She said she had researched six deaths on the Seychelles islands over a 17-month period, including that of her son, among other servicemen who died while visiting the islands.
She said she felt there were still a lot of unanswered questions about her son’s death.
The inquest was told that ET Warrender had breached military rules by catching a taxi on his own after a night out with his crew mates.
The coroner said ET Warrender would be aware that his Royal Navy career would be in jeopardy if he tested positive for drugs and that he had an aversion to needles.
He said: “There is a possibility a theft was a reason for his death.”