Open verdict after ‘tragic’ death of popular Louth man Joshua Spowage

Joshua Spowage EMN-140428-120717001
Joshua Spowage EMN-140428-120717001

A coroner has recorded an open verdict following the death of popular Louth hairdresser Joshua Spowage at an inquest in Spilsby last week.

Mr Spowage, 24, who worked at Linzi’s Hair Salon in Louth, died on April 26 this year following a five day coma after he was found hanged at his shared house in Cheviot Street, Lincoln, by one of his house mates at 5.30am on April 21.

Joshua’s house mates called the emergency services and attempted CPR, before he was rushed to Lincoln County Hospital.

The inquest heard that Joshua had been at The Scene nightclub in Lincoln that night and had bumped into his ex-partner, although the pair had chatted and seemed to get along “quite well” before Joshua left the club at around 4am.

Assistant Coroner Richard Marshall said that police discovered a diary underneath Joshua’s bed shortly after he was found, which included a ‘potentially significant entry’ which referred to difficulties in his relationships and included the phrase: “I’m sorry mum, but there is nothing you can do”.

However, the note was not dated and it was not the most recent entry in the diary, and the coroner said: “It is difficult to attribute the diary entry to the day of death.”

Statements from Joshua’s local GP, Dr Woollard, and consultant psychiatrist Dr Elwood, disclosed that Joshua had suffered from recurrent psychotic symptoms several years ago, but that his mental health had appeared to be generally stable in recent years.

Recording his verdict, the coroner concluded: “This was a tragic incident. On April 20, Joshua was out in town and met his ex-partner, and in the early hours he was found hanged by other occupants of the house. He died six days later after being in a coma.

“There was no specific suicide note and there was no date on the entry in the diary so I don’t feel able to say, beyond reasonable doubt, that Joshua intended to take his own life.”