Inquest hears Havant man, 20, killed himself to avoid capture by Isis forces in Syria
AN INQUEST heard that a 'brave' young man from Havant killed himself to evade capture while fighting in Syria.
Ryan Lock, who attended Warblington School in Havant, was killed in December while fighting for the Kurdish force YPG against Isis.
The hearing into the death of the 20-year-old, held this morning at Portsmouth Coroner's Court, heard he killed himself after being surrounded by Isis forces. He had sustained a serious bullet wound to his thigh which meant he could not move and decided to take his life rather than be captured.
Recording a narrative verdict, coroner David Horsley said: 'Looking at all the evidence from a simplistic point of view it would be simple to say that Ryan has taken his own life but it doesn't allow my conclusion to reflect the whole story.
'He was an ordinary young man who gave up his safe and comfortable life for a cause he believed in passionately.
'He died in battle and was not prepared to let himself be captured by cruel and ruthless people.
'That is a very brave thing to do. He was a very brave young man.'
The hearing was told by Ryan's mum Catherine Lock that he had said he was going travelling with friends when he left the UK last summer.
It was not until the day after he left that he messaged her to say he was was in Syria fighting for the YPG.
In December, his family found out he had died in battle through an Arabic website. His body was flown back to London Heathrow in February where it was given a guard of honour by Kurdish forces.