Mystery over death of young backpacker

Samuel Banks
Samuel Banks
Enthusiast Matt Searson with his selction of collectable vinyl releases. Picture: Duncan Shepherd (180341-007)

IN PICTURES: Record Store Day in Southsea

Have your say

THE death of a young backpacker who died on holiday in India remains a mystery.

An inquest in Portsmouth heard how Samuel Banks, 20, was a fit and healthy young man with no underlying health problems.

But he died on June 25 last year after complaining of severe stomach problems.

There were initial reports he had been swimming in the River Ganges – one of the most polluted rivers in the world.

But the friends he was travelling with denied this had happened.

The inquest heard how Samuel, of Church Road, Petersfield, had complained of stomach pains for two days and had taken no medication.

He was taken to a hospital in the Indian capital New Delhi but died before arrival.

A pathologist who examined his body said he had most likely died from a perforation of the bowel caused by an infection.

However the infection could not be identified despite a range of tests.

Pathologist Barbara Borek said: ‘It does remain a mystery.

‘The ultimate thing is a perforation but why the bowel perforated we cannot say.’

Portsmouth and south-east Hampshire coroner David Horsley said: ‘On the evidence I have heard there is nothing to suggest that the bowel perforation has been caused by any physical injury.

‘He has had some sort of infection which ahs lead to gastric problems and as a consequence the bowel perforation, but where the infection has come from we simply do not know.

‘In hot countries infections are a lot more prevalent. Sadly Samuel has picked up something.

‘I’m quite satisfied from the evidence that his death has been due to natural causes.’

Samuel had attended the prestigious Bedales School in Steep, near Petersfield.