Norfolk

Surlingham death: Mystery over man who drove into river

  • 15 November 2012
  • From the section Norfolk

Mystery still surrounds the death of a father of two who appeared to deliberately drive into a Norfolk river, a coroner has said.

Witnesses outside the Ferry House pub in Surlingham saw Lester Robbins' car go into the River Yare on 8 July.

The body of the 50-year-old of Rockland St Mary was found by police divers.

Norfolk Coroner William Armstrong recorded a verdict of suicide. He said there was no indication of serious problems and his death was a mystery.

'Usual happy self'

Witness Ryan Marsh told the inquest at Norwich Coroner's Court a Nissan Micra pulled up about 10m from the river's edge and was being highly revved.

When the car went into the water, Mr Marsh ran into the pub to call 999.

A post-mortem examination found Mr Robbins was twice over the drink-drive limit.

His wife of five years, Angela Nifton-Robbins, said there was nothing that led her to believe anything was wrong.

In a statement, his mother said he had been his "usual happy self" when he visited earlier that day.

Mr Armstrong said that while alcohol would have affected Mr Robbins judgement, it would not have had a bearing on his intention.

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