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Man who died in pond trapped beneath overturned mini tractor had heart disease, inquest told

Baytree Farm, Wattisham ANL-150416-103036001
Baytree Farm, Wattisham ANL-150416-103036001

A man’s death in a pond while trapped beneath an overturned mini tractor was a combination of accident and natural causes, an inquest has decided.

Richard Clements, 61, had been working in the garden of his home in Wattisham on April 13 when he was found by his wife with his head and upper body submerged.

The inquest on Monday at Bury St Edmunds heard that while a post mortem examination showed evidence of drowning, signs of heart disease were also found.

In a statement, Mr Clement’s wife Katherine said that during the previous two weeks her husband had complained of chest pains but had believed it to be indigestion.

Mrs Clements said that if the pains had been severe her husband would have sought medical help.

In her statement, Mrs Clements said that while her husband was working to clear a bank near the pond in their garden at Baytree Farm she had fed their dogs and then let them outside.

It was then that she spotted Mr Clements in the pond with just his legs sticking out from beneath the upturned tractor.

Helped by family members and then neighbours, Mrs Clements said the body of her husband was pulled from the water but efforts to revive him were unsuccessful.

A post mortem examination disclosed a number of medical problems including a pulmonary embolism, heart disease and high blood pressure together with evidence of drowning, said Deputy Suffolk Coroner Dr Daniel Sharpstone.

Dr Sharpstone recorded a conclusion that Mr Clements died as a result of a combination of accidental and natural causes.

Mr Clements was a retired senior manager at PPG in Stowmarket and had lived in Wattisham for 20 years.

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