Inquest into death of man found in Peasholm Lake adjourned

Gavin Francis Egan was described as a caring, funny man with a big heart
Gavin Francis Egan was described as a caring, funny man with a big heart

An inquest into the death of a 34-year-old Scarborough man who was found dead in Peasholm Lake has been adjourned as to two key witnesses were unable to attend.

Gavin Francis Egan, described as a “caring, funny” man with “a big heart”, was found in the lake at Peasholm Park at around 11.30am on February 24.

Today, Thursday November 3, an inquest into his death, held at Scarborough Town Hall, was adjourned until February.

Coroner Michael Oakley said witness PC Helen Hardie was unable to attend due to stress and anxiety. Yesterday (Wednesday November 2) PC Hardie gave evidence at a disciplinary hearing into the same matter.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission previously launched an investigation after it emerged that North Yorkshire Police were told of reports Mr Egan was also pulled from the lake more than seven hours before he was found dead.

According to the IPCC, the force “had been informed by Yorkshire Ambulance Service at around 4am that day about a call from a member of the public reporting that a man had been pulled from the same lake”.

At a preliminary inquest today, forensic pathologist Peter Nigel Cooper gave evidence on the cause of death following a postmortem which was carried out on February 26.

The cause of Mr Egan’s death is ‘consistent with drowning’. He had blotched haemorrhaging in the muscles of the neck. This was not believed to be caused by violence or strangling but is consistent with drowning.

There was also bruises on his arm which Mr Cooper believed are consistent with Mr Egan being “helped from the lake.”

Peasholm Lake was believed to be six degrees celsius at the time. Mr Cooper said Mr Egan was "going to get hypothermic pretty quickly".