Kent

Maxwell Bates-Spiers inquest: Journalist 'feared he might be killed'

Max Spiers
Image caption Mr Bates-Spiers had asked a friend to buy an anxiety drug for him while on holiday in Cyprus, the inquest heard

A journalist who dealt in conspiracy theories said he might be murdered days before he died, an inquest has heard.

Maxwell Bates-Spiers sent his mother a message in the week before his death, saying: "If anything happens to me, look into it," she told the hearing.

Mr Bates-Spiers, 39, from Kent, died in July 2016 in Warsaw, Poland, at the home of a woman he had befriended.

The inquest in Sandwich, Kent, was told police halted inquiries when a doctor said he died of natural causes.

'No further investigation'

Mr Bates-Spiers was described in court as a journalist "dealing with the topics of conspiracy theories and paranormal phenomena".

He died at the home of Monika Duval, 50, who he had met weeks earlier at a conference where he gave a lecture about participation in "secret military programmes".

Mr Bates-Spiers' mother, Vanessa Bates, told the hearing that her son sent her a message shortly before he died.

It said: "If anything happens to me, look into it, investigate."

She added: "He even said, 'I think I might be murdered'."

Ms Duval told the inquest that he had taken "about 10" tablets of a Turkish form of Xanax, an anxiety drug, before he fell asleep and eventually stopped breathing.

A toxicology report also found "potentially fatal" levels of oxycodone, an opioid, in his system.

Image copyright Rex Features
Image caption Polish prosecutors said Mr Bates-Spiers was a journalist who dealt with conspiracy theories

The inquest heard that two police officers were called by paramedics after Ms Duval grew agitated when they stopped attempts to resuscitate her friend.

One said in a statement: "After the doctor said the death was due to natural causes, we somehow didn't delve into it.

"There was no examination or further investigation."

The inquest continues.

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