Tragic fall from Gosport bridge an accident – coroner

TRAGIC Joseph Prew fell to his death
TRAGIC Joseph Prew fell to his death

CCTV released to help find missing man

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AN INQUEST into teenager Joseph Prew’s death has ruled it was an accident.

The hearing was held in front of coroner for Portsmouth and Hampshire David Horsley.

Joseph, known as Joey, fell from the bridge over Nimrod Drive in Rowner, Gosport, on August 26, 2012.

After listening to evidence from the police, several of his friends, eye witnesses and his family, Mr Horsley decided that the 17-year-old fell accidently from the bridge.

He said: ‘To rule this as suicide, I have to be 100 per cent sure that Joey took his own life but I am not.

‘I think he has unintentionally fallen from the bridge.’

Speaking afterwards, his family said they were satisfied with the ruling.

His mum, Donna, said: ‘We were satisfied with the coroner’s decision. There was no evidence that he jumped and we are happy that the ruling reflects this. He was probably just mucking around.’

His dad Alan said during the inquest that his son was like most young lads.

‘Joey went to parties and had lots of friends and was a typical teenager,’ he said.

‘He did drink and was often out of the house.

‘But he had never attempted to harm himself and he never spoke about feeling depressed.

‘We know he wouldn’t have jumped. Joey was a happy kid who loved football and was of a good nature.’

During the inquest, it was revealed that Joey had left a party in Rowner with his girlfriend, Chelsea Evans, and three other friends.

At the party, he had been drinking and in a blood sample there was evidence of two drugs – one of which was mephedrone.

After leaving the party they approached the bridge over Nimrod Drive and Joey and Chelsea walked away from the rest of the group.

Shortly after, Chelsea reappeared, screaming that Joey had jumped off the bridge.

He was taken by ambulance to Queen Alexandra Hospital where he later died from his injuries on August 26.

Reading from the pathologists report, David Horsley said Joey died from brain damage. He also suffered collapsed lungs and a ruptured spleen.