'Talented' student took his life after being accused of 'slashing' flatmates throat, an inquest heard

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A ‘talented’ university student took his own life after being accused of ‘slashing the throat’ of a flatmate, an inquest has heard.

The 23-year-old went missing later that day and was being looked for by police after his flatmate had reported the alleged assault. Coroner Jason Pegg said that Mr Gray was seen on CCTV to have gone to Itchen Bridge in Southampton before he went down to the waterside in the early hours of July 8.

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His body was found on July 12 by a swimmer in Southampton Water off Royal Victoria Country Park. A post-mortem examination gave a cause of death of drowning with no injuries to his body and no alcohol or drugs found in his system.

Winchester Coroners Court. Picture: Jordan Pettitt/Solent News & Photo AgencyWinchester Coroners Court. Picture: Jordan Pettitt/Solent News & Photo Agency
Winchester Coroners Court. Picture: Jordan Pettitt/Solent News & Photo Agency

Mr Pegg said: “When Sam arrived in Uxbridge there must have been some form of incident, someone who knew him said that he had suffered a serious slash wound to the throat at the hands of Sam, clearly there was a serious incident in Uxbridge.

“Because of that, Sam was wanted by the police, Sam would have known he was involved in a serious incident and inevitably it would have had serious consequences for him.

“He would have been very disappointed in himself and felt he had let his family down and he would have been in a very bad state.”

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Returning a verdict of suicide, Mr Pegg said: “Sam entered the water and caused himself to become submerged. He was in a state of distress and intended to take his own life.”

He added that Mr Gray was a “talented and capable young man with much to live for and in this time of distress he decided to take his own life”.

Mr Gray, whose passions included athletics and sailing, was described by his family as ‘a wonderful son’ and ‘bright, fun to be with and full of energy’.

If you are struggling with depression or mental health problems and need help, contact the Samaritans on 116 123 or click here for more information.

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