'No third party involved' in Tresco barman's death

Josh Clayton
Image caption Josh Clayton was missing for 10 days before his body was found

Police have found no evidence of third party involvement in the death of a holiday worker on the Isles of Scilly, a jury inquest has heard.

Josh Clayton, 23, from Somerset, was last seen at a staff party on Tresco in September 2015.

An inquest into his death was halted in 2017 after new claims emerged of a row at a party on the island.

Resuming the inquest, the coroner told the jury that police had subsequently been unable to corroborate the claims.

'Happy and drunk'

Bar manager Mr Clayton, from Taunton, was reported missing on 13 September 2015 when he failed to turn up for work on the privately-owned island, about 28 miles (45km) off Cornwall.

His body was discovered 10 days later on nearby rocks.

The inquest heard Mr Clayton attended a party on 12 September organised by the son of Robert Dorrien-Smith, who leases the island from the Duchy of Cornwall.

He was described at the party as "his usual happy and sociable self, and a little drunk", the inquest at Plymouth Coroner's Court heard.

Reading from a police summary, coroner Ian Arrow said evidence from another partygoer, Leroy Thomas, resulted in the inquest halting in January 2017.

Decorator Mr Thomas said he saw Mr Clayton "arguing with two foreign workers over a pushbike and, after threatening suicide, Josh ran off".

Mr Arrow said the account was uncorroborated and there was "no evidence to suggest any third party involvement".

Det Supt Steve Parker, of Devon and Cornwall Police, said Mr Thomas gave police five accounts of his movements that night and "each of them is slightly different".

He said witnesses described Mr Thomas as being involved in an altercation and as upsetting women at the party.

Det Supt Parker was asked by members of Mr Clayton's family why there had been a long delay between the body being recovered and the post-mortem examination.

"The delay was unacceptable," he said.

"It was a mistake and it is something I feel we owe you an apology in relation to."

The inquest continues.

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