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Open verdict on man who drowned in Weymouth marina
AN INQUEST has shed light on the movements of a man shortly before he drowned in Weymouth Marina.
Liam Conway-McDonagh, 26, was found dead in the early hours of May 22.
His body was discovered by a fisherman, the inquest at County Hall in Dorchester heard.
Evidence was heard that Mr Conway-McDonagh of Wey-mouth had been drinking the previous day, and was taken to his home in East Street by his mum and his brother.
But CCTV images from the shared accommodation show him leaving the property several hours after being put to bed.
Linda Conway-McDonagh said: “I got a phone call from a friend saying she had seen Liam in a bad way, and she suggested I go to pick him up.
“He was very drunk.”
She left her son asleep on the sofa at 8.15pm, she added.
But at 1.24am, the former Budmouth College student woke up and left the house.
Several witnesses reported him walking along Market Street and Maiden Street, and he was later seen in Great George Street and Commercial Road.
He crossed the water at Westham Bridge, and shortly before 2.30am, CCTV footage shows a figure on a pontoon near Westwey Road, the inquest heard.
Giving evidence, Detective Constable Andrew Marsh said the footage shows Mr Conway-McDonagh falling over several times.
He said: “The pedestrian entrance to the Weymouth Marina car park in Commercial Road has two brick pillars at the pedestrian entrance. He seems to fall over forwards and hit his head on one of the pillars. He collapsed to the ground and then gets to his feet, stumbling again.”
Pathologist Mark Deverell said Mr Conway-McDonagh had several cuts and bruises to his arms and face.
Detective Inspector Stewart Dipple added: “There was no evidence of anyone being near him or interacting with him at the time. He seems to have received a number of injuries from a number of falls. We can see him stumbling and falling, which would account for the injuries he had.”
Coroner for West Dorset Michael Johnston recorded an open verdict.
He said: “Vital evidence just isn’t there to enable me to say exactly what happened.
“I suspect he fell or went into the water. He may have gone in deliberately.
“He was recorded stumbling and falling, roaming around after consuming alcohol.”
Mr Johnston shared his sympathies with the family.
He said: “It is no age to die from whatever cause. I am very sorry.”