Open verdict into death of man found on Wellingborough footbridge

The inquest was held at the Kettering Council offices
The inquest was held at the Kettering Council offices

A coroner recorded an open verdict on the death of a man found lying on a footbridge in Wellingborough.

Ying Ping Yu, 47, was found at about 6am by a man walking to work on the footbridge over Harrowden Road on November 11 last year, an inquest heard yesterday (Thursday).

The married father-of-two had gone out for a walk the night before and never returned home to Naseby Road, Wellingborough.

His wife Shuang Hao said he had been stressed after becoming involved in a police matter.

Coroner Anne Pember read out a statement from Xin Cheng, an interpreter, who had met Mr Yu twice, including on November 10 last year.

He said both allegations were of the same nature, but on their second meeting, he said: “He was like a broken man compared to the last time I had seen him.”

After Mr Yu disclosed to him that he felt like he might have to kill himself, Mr Cheng said: “I felt I should bring it to the attention of the police officers.”

But when asked directly if he was considering self-harm or suicide, Mr Yu said no.

Mr Yu’s wife said they married in China in 1995 and have two children.

They moved to the UK as one of the children had asthma and they wanted to get away from the pollution.

Mr Yu came to the UK first after getting a job in acupuncture in Liverpool before moving to Wellingborough, where he got a job at a chinese herbal medicine business in Market Street which he later took over.

She said he loved his job, but there had been a complaint from a woman which led to the police getting involved.

Police called at the couple’s house on November 10 and told Shuang that Mr Yu was at the police station.

After leaving the station, he said he wanted to go for a walk and Shuang said he was ‘very upset.’

When he didn’t return, she went looking for him but couldn’t find him.

She woke the next morning to find he still wasn’t there and after taking the children to school, she returned home where the police told her they had found her husband’s body.

In her statement, Shuang said: “I miss my husband so much.

“I believe my husband died because someone accused him with slander and that’s why he died.”

Dr Mike Biggs, forensic pathologist at Leicester Royal Infirmary, said Mr Yu had no injuries to suggest he had been assaulted or restrained.

Their investigations showed there was ‘significant narrowing’ of one of the main arteries to the heart, which in a different case might have been the cause of death.

Toxicology tests also showed there was Triazolam in his body, a substance similar to drugs like Diazepam and is not licensed for use in the UK.

Dr Biggs said: “The level of that was not so high that I could definitely say that this was a drug overdose or toxic death, but it was certainly high enough to be considered.”

He said the only option for him on the cause of death was ‘unascertained’ as he couldn’t say whether the heart or the drug was more likely.

Coroner Anne Pember recorded an open verdict and echoed Dr Biggs’ view that they couldn’t confidently say it was one or the other.

And she added: “I will give an open conclusion because we can’t say if it was natural or unnatural.”