Inquest verdict on death of Alan Reynolds from Porthleven

An inquest has recorded an open conclusion into the death of a well respected former Royal Navy officer after it was unable to establish a verdict of either suicide or accidental death.

Alan Howard Reynolds, 61, who had lived in Porthleven, was pronounced dead on September 6 2021 after neighbours reported being concerned for his welfare after trying to get in touch with him without success.

Mr Reynolds was found by paramedics at his home but, due to the configuration of gym equipment that he had been found with, Assistant Coroner Stephen Covell was not able to record, on the balance of probability, a verdict of either suicide or accidental death.

Mr Reynolds had previously served in the Royal Navy and, during the inquest, was described as being proud of his service.

Having served in the Falklands war, Mr Reynolds was diagnosed with PTSD in 2016 and had engaged with counselling.

He was described by a friend has suffering from depression and had ‘ups and downs,’ but, in the days leading up to his death, had not appeared to be struggling time as he was keeping up with his medications and was exercising regularly by running and surfing.

Mr Reynolds had also been volunteering at veteran’s charity Combat Stress and was well respected by those he supported there.

He had also earned a lifeguarding qualification through mental health charity Surf Action.

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The inquest heard how there was no evidence at the property that Mr Reynolds had left a note and no evidence that he was considering taking his own life.

However, due to the way in which he was found, the coroner was unable to record a verdict of accidental death.

In his findings of fact Assistant Coroner Stephen Covell said: “I conclude that he would have intended to configure the (gym equipment) as he did, but there is not sufficient evidence to conclude that he did so to bring about his death.

“There was no evidence at the property that Mr Reynolds had left a note.”

“Whilst it is probably the deceased intended to apply (the gym equipment) as he did, it cannot be ascertained whether the deceased intended to bring about his death.

The assistant coroner added he was “unable to bring about a conclusion of suicide” and that he was “unable to make any findings in relation to that.”

He added that, because of this, “I cannot make a conclusion of suicide or accidental death.”

The final verdict was recorded as an open conclusion.

Falmouth Packet | Truro