Shocked bride saw man enter ‘extremely cold river’ before he drowned
A SHOCKED bride-to-be watched as a man stepped into a fast-flowing river just yards away from her wedding venue, an inquest heard.
Amy Jones was only five minutes into her wedding ceremony at the West Mill, at Darley Abbey Mills, when she spotted Trevor Needham in the water.
She stopped the proceedings to tell guests what she had seen – but was assured he was just swimming and the ceremony, on April 4, continued.
Mr Needham, of Needham Street, in Codnor, was found dead two months later. The inquest at Derby and Derbyshire Coroner’s Court heard that the 68-year-old would have met extremely cold water and a strong current.
Det Con Paul Keens, who was investigating the case, said: “130 tonnes of water per second was travelling down the river in extremely cold temperatures of six or seven degrees.
“The strength of flow and the temperature overcame him quickly and it is likely he died within seconds of going into the water.
“I’d guess that the speed of the water took the decision out of his hands.” The hearing was also told that, in 2014, Mr Needham, a retired electrician, walked into the River Derwent in Cromford but had then turned around.
Assistant coroner Louise Pinder said: “His intention remains unclear, but we know he entered the water and died in the River Derwent. He travelled from Derby city centre to Darley Abbey and then to the River Derwent. It is likely that he died on April 4.”
Miss Pinder acknowledged Mrs Jones for pausing her wedding ceremony to raise the alarm. She said: “To stop your own wedding is quite a remarkable thing to do.”
According to Dr Chung, of Jessop Medical Practice, in Alfreton, Mr Needham suffered from a delusional disorder and Alzheimer’s disease.
The deterioration of his mental health was noted in the weeks before he went missing.
When Mr Needham went missing on April 4, his family endured an 11-week police manhunt to find him. His body was found in the River Derwent, near Draycott, following a call from a passerby on June 24.
Pathologist Dr Mann confirmed the medical cause of death was drowning.
The River Derwent at West Mill, where Trevor Needham was last seen walking into the river.