October 23rd, 2016

Inquest after Leamington man found dead in river

Inquest after Leamington man found dead in river Inquest after Leamington man found dead in river

A JURY has heard how a Leamington man’s body was discovered in the River Leam four days after he went in to the water.

The inquest into the death of 26-year-old Pawel Przydalski began on Monday at Warwick Crown Court.

The jury of 11 people heard how Polish national Mr Przydalski went missing on November 15 while drinking with his fiancée Kamila Kowalik and her brother Piotr Kowalik in the Pump Room Gardens.

At around 9pm an argument broke out between the two men and Mr Kowalik walked off, throwing a near-empty bottle of vodka behind him, which hit Mr Pryzdalski on the head.

The jury heard how Mr Pryzsalski had climbed into the water and refused to get out despite the efforts of Mr Kowalik, the paramedics and police – who had been called to the scene.

Police officers were then informed Mr Pryzdalski may have a gun and were ordered to retreat.

But by the time it emerged the man was unarmed he had disappeared from sight.

Family and friends turned out to look for Mr Pryzdalski. His body was then discovered near York Road footbridge by a police diver on November 19 – four days after he went missing.

Assistant coroner for Warwickshire, David Clarke, said: “This was recorded as death by drowning. A post mortem found the cut to his head was trivial and there was no sign of brain injury. He did have an irregular heartbeat which could have contributed to his death.

“Questions need to be answered here – How did he come to be in the river? What were his actions when he was in the river? What was the response of police when he was found in the river and their reaction when they found Pawel may have had a gun?

“We also need to know if more could have been done. There was no lifesaving equipment at the scene and police didn’t have any with them.”

Speaking through a Polish interpreter, Mr Kowalik, his fiancee of three years and who lived with Mr Pryzdalski on Aylesford Street, told the jury he was very aggravated which was ‘unusual for him’.

Crying as she addressed the jury, Miss Kowalik said: “We were both shouting to Pawel to come out of the water. We could see him until the police arrived and then they were asking him to get out. He was swimming in the other direction as if he was running away,

“The last time I saw him was as I was getting into the ambulance with Piotr.”

Miss Kowalik said she has ‘no idea’ why he jumped in the water and that she did not believe him to be drunk at the time.

The inquest continues.