North West Wales

Drug debt death threat claims halt Austin Bellew inquest

Ruthin coroner's office Image copyright Google

Claims a man received a death threat over a drug debt before he was found dead at sea have halted an inquest.

The body of Austin Bellew, 41, from Llandudno, Conwy county, was found off Hoylake, Wirral, in February.

His sister, Sandra, told the hearing officers were "dismissive" of the threat claim and did not investigate.

The inquest at Ruthin, Denbighshire, was adjourned with North Wales Police given 28 days to provide a statement.

Mr Bellew had been missing for a month when his body was found six miles off shore by a boat crew.

His sister said: "There are too many question marks about how he ended upon the sea", with the family raising concerns about an "insufficient police investigation".

Adjourning the inquest, North Wales East and Central assistant coroner Nicola Jones said: "We might not get any further and if the police did carry out an investigation, then fine."