Dead body of missing man, 35, was mistaken for a horror film prop after being found in the back of a lorry, inquest told

  • Witness didn’t report the death of Ian Roberts as he thought body was a ‘dummy’ 
  • For confidential support, call the Samaritans on 116123 or visit a local branch

The body of a missing man was left in the back of a lorry used in a horror film – after he was mistaken for a movie prop, an inquest heard.

Ian Roberts, 35, was found hanging in the vehicle in a compound but a witness didn’t report his death as he believed the body was a ‘dummy.’

Merseyside Police issued a plea for help in locating Ian in October 2022, who had last been seen in Warrington, Cheshire.

But emergency services were called to School Brow in Warrington in December last year after reports of a man’s body that had been found.

Cheshire Coroner’s Court heard how the lorry had previously been used in a film set for a horror movie.

Ian Roberts, 35, was found hanging in the vehicle in a compound but a witness didn't report his death as he believed the body was a 'dummy'

Ian Roberts, 35, was found hanging in the vehicle in a compound but a witness didn’t report his death as he believed the body was a ‘dummy’

A witness had attended the compound, which was locked and secured with barbed wire, to see if the lorry was still driveable.

When he got there, he found the front window of the lorry had been smashed in, the curtain inside had also been cut and the engine wouldn’t start.

He then looked through the curtain and he saw what he thought was a dummy that has been used in the film – but it was actually Ian’s body.

The court heard how the owner of the lorry then drove to London to try and get the engine to start which is when he discovered the body.

The police were called and Ian was pronounced dead on December 2.

Assistant coroner Sarah Murphy read a statement from Ian’s GP who said he had been seen on several occasions for anxiety and depression.

He was on prescribed treatment for his mental health and was put in contact with a crisis team after expressing suicidal thoughts on one occasion.

Contact was made with Ian on various occasions to check in but he said he was not expressing suicidal thoughts and was depressed.

During the hearing, Ms Murphy also read a statement from detective chief inspector Maggie Cassidy who was involved in the case.

She said how a note was found in the lorry from Ian in which he showed an intention of ending his life and that it appeared he had been there for a ‘prolonged time’.

DCI Cassidy said that there were no suspicious circumstances around his death and Ms Murphy concluded that Ian took his own life.

Ms Murphy said: ‘I express my sincere condolences to the family and friends of Mr Ian Roberts for his untimely death.’

For confidential support, call the Samaritans on 116123 or visit a local Samaritans branch. See www.samaritans.org for details



Daily Mail

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