Body of Unknown Young Man Found in Field – Suicide By Poisoning

June 1929

Mexborough & Swinton Times – Friday 14 June 1929

Body of Unknown Young Man Found in Field.

Suicide By Poisoning

Mr. W. H. Carlile held an inquest on Tuesday at the Star Hotel, Conisboro’, on the body of a young man whom the police have failed to identify.

Ernest Haigh, miner, of 1, Claremont Terrace, Conisboro’, said that about 7 a.m. on Sunday be was in his garden when he saw a man lying in the hedge bottom in a field off Sheffield Road. He did not see the man move. About 7-20 he went round the field, and when passing the man shouted “Good morning” several times. The man took no notice, and witness went to him. He lifted one of the man’s legs and hands up, and did not think he was dead. He went and eat on a stile for several minutes and then went back to the man. He pushed him over and saw that there was froth at the mouth, and that he was dead. Near was a trilby hat, and the man was fully clothed. He reported the matter to the police.

P.s. Huck and P.c. Nelliss accompanied him back to the body. They found a bottle containing some liquid in the right-hand pocket of the man’s raincoat.

P.c. Nelliss said he went to the field with P.S. Huck about 9 a.m. They found the man lying on his left side near the hedge bottom. He was cold, and his face was on the ground. He was well dressed, and on examination witness found a brown bottle three-parts full of liquid, the label having been scratched off. There was froth on the man’s mouth and on the grass, and a strong smell of disinfectant. An examination of the man’s clothing showed no clue to the man’s identity. In the pockets were found 23s 4 ½  a pair of cuff links , a packet knife in the shape of a lady’s shoe, a small comb in case, a rosary and Madonna, a silver watch, and a book, entitled “Under the Greenwood Tree,” by Thomas Hardy.

The Coroner: I do not think the book has bearing on the case. I have not read it.

Witness said that enquiries regarding the man’s identity had been made throughout the district: information had been sent to other sections and to divisional headquarters, but the man still remained a mystery. No one had come forward to claim him, and several people had viewed the body but could not say who he was. There were no marks of violence on the body, only stains made by disinfectant and a puffed chin and face.

Dr. W. J. McClure, of Conisboro’, said he saw the body at the Star Hotel on Sunday morning about 10-30. The chin on the left side of the face had some brown stains on it, which might have been made by some corrosive liquid. He made a post-mortem examination on Monday, and in addition to the staining on the chin found that the lips and mouth showed signs of corrosive action. On opening the stomach he found marked signs of action caused by disinfectant, which would probably be Lysol. The lungs were partially congested and also some of the vessels in the brain. The man was perfectly healthy except that his muscles were rather weak. He would be about 5ft. 7in. in height. The cause of death was poisoning due to disinfectant.

P.s. Huck said the bottle which was found near the man’s body was a four-ounce Lysol bottle, of which one ounce had been consumed. Some sharp instrument had been used to scratch the name of the disinfectant from the bottle.

The Coroner said it was quite apparent that the man had committed suicide, of which the bottle was strong evidence. There would be a verdict to that effect, but there was no evidence to show the state of the man’s mind.