Cornwall

Josh Clayton death: New probe call after inquest collapses

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

The grieving family of a dead holiday island worker have called for a new police investigation after the collapse of an inquest.

The inquest into Josh Clayton's death was halted after new claims emerged of a row at a party on the privately-owned Tresco in the Isles of Scilly.

Devon and Cornwall Police said the new claims would need to be stood up.

But the family had "no confidence" in Devon and Cornwall Police to conduct "an effective investigation".

More from the inquest, and other news

The body of Mr Clayton, 23, from Taunton, was found on rocks near Tresco on 23 September 2015, 10 days after he went missing from the party on the privately-owned island.

The staff bash at The Shed venue was organised by Tristan Dorrien-Smith, son of island landlord Robert.

Partygoer Leroy Thomas said Mr Clayton had been arguing with a group of foreign workers at the party.

Image caption Josh Clayton's family have called for a reinvestigation of the case by police

Tom Leeper, barrister for the Clayton family, said "erroneous assumptions" that Mr Clayton had not been involved in an altercation at the party, "have resulted in an inadequate investigation to date".

Police barrister Andrew Waters said everyone who attended the party had been spoken to by officers and nobody had mentioned the altercation.

He said officers had spoken to Mr Thomas twice and the new account would have to be corroborated.

Devon and Cornwall Police said in a statement it was the "first time" it had been made aware of the new claims and "further investigations will be carried out as a result".

Image copyright AP
Image caption Leroy Thomas said he heard Mr Clayton say he was going to kill himself

Painter and decorator Mr Thomas told the hearing in Plymouth he saw Mr Clayton "ranting and raving" outside the party.

He also claimed Mr Clayton, who worked at the island's Ruin beach cafe, said he was going to kill himself.

Mr Thomas said he heard Mr Clayton say he had "had enough" and his bike was thrown into a hedge by the workers.

Image caption An air, sea and land search was launched for Mr Clayton after he went missing

A bloodstained T-shirt Mr Clayton was wearing had been disposed of on the advice of police, pathologist Dr Russell Delaney told the inquest.

He said there were no signs of Mr Clayton drowning and the cause of death was "unascertained".

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