‘Loyal friend, valued colleague’ Professor died in his new home
AWELL-RESPECTED professor at the Royal Agricultural University died after being electrocuted at a house he had recently moved into, a coroner heard.
John Alliston, of Burleigh, near Stroud, had signed a lease to the new property with Bledislow Holdings in May.
He was killed on June 8 because of what appeared to be a faulty electrical circuit, the Gloucester pre-inquest hearing was told.
Senior Gloucestershire Coroner Katy Skerrett ruled that a jury will be needed to hear the full inquest at a later date when all the necessary evidence about the tragedy has been gathered.
She requested further evidence surrounding the conditions of the property at the time of letting on May 17 to find out specifically what caused the fault.
She told a lawyer for the professor’s family that she would not be doing an “historical exploration” of when exactly the fault occurred but wanted to know what checks were made prior to Prof Alliston and his wife moving in.
Prof Alliston was originally the Dean of Agriculture at the RAU and had worked there for more than 20 years, receiving a recognition award last year to celebrate his 50-year career.
The university said in a statement at the time of the tragedy: “John was part of the fabric of the RAU, a valued colleague and a loyal friend, full of enthusiasm and passion for life.
“We appreciate that this news will come as a terrible surprise to staff, students, alumni, and friends of the university alike, but we know that the RAU community will support each other at this very sad time.
“Our thoughts and prayers must be with John’s family at this incredibly difficult time.
As well as working as a professor at the university he was course director for the Institute of Agricultural Management Leadership Course, the Worshipful Company of Farmers Business Management Course and for the John Edgar Trust Management Development Scheme.
He was a fellow of the Institute of Agricultural Management, a fellow of the Royal Agricultural Societies and the Institution of Agricultural Engineers.
The inquest was adjourned to a date to be fixed.
The coroner said that once further evidence is received at the end of October she may request another preinquest review to ensure they have all information required before setting a date for an inquest in front of a jury, which she is anticipating will be around March next year.
Professor Alliston is survived by wife Petey, sons Mike and James and sister Jill.
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Professor John Alliston