Coroner avoids suicide verdict in Bridgend inquest

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The Independent Online

A coroner today decided against recording a verdict of suicide on a "happy-go-lucky" son found hanging in the family garage.

Allyn Price was one of 17 young people thought to have killed themselves in the county of Bridgend, South Wales, in the space of just over a year.

Bridgend Coroner Philip Walters, who is holding inquests today into the deaths of five of the young people involved, told the hearing there needed to be "definite intention" for a verdict of suicide.

His family, who were at the inquest, were told Mr Price, 24, may have been under the influence of drugs when he died in April last year.

In a statement read to the court, Mr Price's girlfriend, Alisha Austin, who he met about five years ago, said he had started spending time with some boys she did not like.

She described how he had changed and how he became "short-tempered" at times.

She said: "I told him I was going on holiday with my mum and we would see how we felt about each other on my return. Allyn seemed happy about that."

Recounting a phone conversation they had the day he died, she said: "He said 'I have got nothing to live for. Will you always be there for me?'

"I said 'Yes, of course'."

His father, Gwynfor Price, said his son had gone back and forth between the house and garage at the rear of the family home on Salisbury Road, Maesteg, the day he died.

He saw his son in the kitchen applying a plaster to a cut on his hand at about 7.30pm before later finding him hanging.

Gwynfor Price said his son was "happy-go-lucky" and had a good relationship with his family.

His brother, Darren, told the court Allyn had used cocaine and Ecstasy.

Pathologist Alan Rees said traces of the amphetamine MDMA, cocaine and morphine were found in Mr Price's body.

Mr Walters said there needed to be "definite intention" for a verdict of suicide.

Recording a short narrative verdict, he said: "But certainly there was nobody else directly involved in Allyn's death.

"I would accept what Dr Rees has said that the drugs could have affected his mood and judgment."

He said the cause of death was asphyxia due to ligature of the neck.