Shocked bride saw man en­ter ‘ex­tremely cold river’ be­fore he drowned

Derby Telegraph - - NEWS - By BEN LYONS

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.

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