Berkshire

Daniel Williams: Reading student drowned in lake after night out

Daniel Williams Image copyright PA
Image caption Daniel Williams was described as a "wonderful, gentle and kind" by his family

A student drowned in a freezing lake near a university campus after a night out, an inquest has heard.

Daniel Williams went missing after he went to a bar with his housemates at the University of Reading on 30 January.

Police found the 19-year-old's body in Whiteknights Lake near the university campus on 5 February following a six-day search in freezing conditions.

A coroner ruled Mr Williams' death was an accident.

Reading Coroner's Court heard Mr Williams, from Sutton in London, went to the university's student union bar, 3sixty, at about 23:00 GMT on 30 January before he went missing.

In a statement, William Collins said his housemate had "gone off in the past" but added it was "very out of character" for the computer science student to not get in touch.

Image caption Police struggled to search the large Whiteknights lake due to freezing temperatures

Bethan Jones, a student who was in the club, said she saw a man later identified as Mr Williams appearing "as if he was zombie" as he held on to a railing near the DJ booth.

The court heard his phone disconnected from the venue's wi-fi at 01:41.

'Death shouldn't define him'

Senior coroner Heidi Connor said a toxicology report revealed Mr Williams had 210mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood in his system.

She added post-mortem tests established the cause of death was "drowning whilst under the influence of alcohol".

In court, Mr Williams' mother said her son was "universally loved and liked by everyone who knew him" and added she did not "feel his death should define him".

Mr Williams' father added his son was someone people would confide in and a person who would make sure people got home when they had drunk too much.

"The tragedy here is that there was nobody to walk him home when he was in that state," he said.

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