An inquest jury has reached a narrative verdict blaming Surrey Police for a number of failings that contributed to the drowning of Wentworth Club’s greenkeeper in the River Thames.
According to the Mail Online, John Byrne died on December 8, 2016, after deliberately driving his van into the River Thames at Shepperton in Surrey, after a heavy night of drinking.
The report claims how officers had been told not to enter the water where Mr Byrne found himself trapped in his van, where he was overheard sceaming for help.
A coroner investigating his death ruled that the jury could not return a verdict of suicide, however, after almost nine hours of deliberation, the jury reached a narrative verdict and blamed Surrey Police for a series of blunders in its control room.
The inquest, which took place in Woking, Surrey, had heard how police sergeant Danielle Mead had gone home from duty and had not personally handed over the incident to a colleague.
Byrne worked as a greenkeeper at the prestigious Wentworth Club, home to the BMW PGA Championship
The jury also heard that the alarm over Mr Byrne, who had previously said he was going to drown himself in the Thames at Shepperton, was downgraded from a police response of one hour to no response.
The blunder meant that for more than an hour, Surrey Police was unaware of the impending tragedy and no police response was dispatched.
Mr Byrne, who had previously said he was going to drown himself in the River Thames, placed planks of wood on the riverbank to use as a launch pad for driving his van into the water.
The report explains how officers eventually arrived at the scene and watched on helplessly as Mr Byrne cried for help to save him as his van slowly submerged into the 12-foot deep river.
Inspector Gary Cross issued an order that his team should not go into the water to try to save Mr Byrne as it was too dangerous in the dark and cold.