Brother of a pensioner who went missing in Sidcup speaks of his pain as inquest provides no answer

PUBLISHED: 16:07 14 October 2010 | UPDATED: 16:49 14 October 2010

James Wynn

James Wynn


The brother of a pensioner who disappeared from hospital and whose body was later found decomposed 300 metres away has spoken of his torment after an inquest in to his death recorded an open verdict.

James Wynn's brother, Hugh

On Tuesday Croydon Coroners Court ruled the cause of death for James Wynn, 72, of St Mary’s Street, Woolwich, could not be ascertained.

Mr Wynn, was being treated in Queen Mary’s hospital for a heart condition and a blood clot to his leg and discharged himself on June 28 a day before he was due to be released by doctors.

After a missing appeal was launched, Mr Wynn’s decomposed body was discovered in bushes on July 22 in the grounds of Sidcup Place by members of Sidcup Recreation Club.

His younger brother, Hugh Wynn, 64, of Primrose Hill said: “As a family, you really want to know what happened, Nobody is ever going to be able to tell me what happened and that is very hard to accept.

Scrubland next to Sidcup PLace and the bowls club where members found the decaying body.

“To come here today and leave with no answers is really tough. I hoped today to at least leave with the knowledge of what happened and why he was not found earlier when he was so close to the hospital he left.”

Devastated Mr Wynn had to leave the inquest for a while to compose himself before returning. He is convinced his brother fell from a fence after attempting to climb it in search of a drink.

After the discovery he claimed police had failed to do enough to find his brother in the immediate days after his disappearance and sought meetings with them to find out how the case was handled.

Detective Chief Inspector Alison Funnel, who led the search for Mr Wynn, gave evidence at the inquest.

She said: “The main search was on the grounds in and around the hospital itself. Thirty officers were dispatched to search for him.”

During the inquest she confirmed police dogs had been used in the search after being questioned by Mr Wynn.

A witness who gave evidence at the hour-long inquest claims he spotted Mr Wynn on the same evening he went missing in Woolwich but only reported the sighting to the police on July 4.

Coroner Roy Palmer concluded: “We simply don’t know how Mr Wynn came to his death.”

Mr Wynn added: “In my heart I know more could have been done to find him.”

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