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Home   Tonbridge   News   Article

Unanswered questions over tragic death of young Tonbridge father Kieron Knowlden pulled from River Medway after going missing on night out

24 June 2014
by Claire McWethy

The family of a young Tonbridge man found dead in a river after going missing for three weeks have been left with unanswered questions following his inquest today.

A coroner today ruled father-of-one Kieron Knowlden, 25, died by misadventure when he fell into the River Medway while more than three times over the drink-drive limit after a night out.

But Mr Knowlden's sister Kaliegh Sencherey said the inquest had not answered the family's questions over if his drinks had been spiked.

Tonbridge man Kieron Knowlden, 25, went missing after a night out

Tonbridge man Kieron Knowlden, 25, went missing after a night out

The 26-year-old described him as a "brilliant brother", who loved his mother and doted on his children, nieces and nephews.
 
She warned other revelers of the dangers of drink, saying: "Don't drink excessively and be careful about who's around you because there are a lot of people out there who put things in people's drinks. We will never know if that happened to Kieron.
 
"This doesn't answer our questions about whether his drink was spiked - we will never know."
"Don't drink excessively and be careful about who's around you because there are a lot of people out there who put things in people's drinks..." - sister Kaliegh Sencherey

Mr Knowlden disappeared after leaving a bar in Tonbridge town centre on Saturday, March 1.

His body was found in the nearby River Medway almost three weeks later on Tuesday, March 18. 

Among those attending the inquest was Mr Knowlden's daughter, who was born after his death.

Evidence from a scientific officer showed Mr Knowlden, of Forest Grove, was three times over the drink drive limit.

The inquest at Tunbridge Wells police station heard Mr Knowlden's cause of death was immersion.

Recording a verdict of death by misadventure, coroner Roger Hatch said: "It is clear to me that when Mr Knowlden left the pub he was very intoxicated and the probability is that as a result of that he fell in the River Medway."

Police at the River Medway in Tonbridge during the search for Kieron Knowlden

Police at the River Medway in Tonbridge during the search for Kieron Knowlden

CCTV footage showed Mr Knowlden's last known movements as he left Mojo's bar in Barden Lane at around 2am.

He appeared to be struggling to stand upright as he walked home near the river.

The discovery of Mr Knowlden's body came nearly three weeks later after a huge police search of the area.

Specialist diving teams scoured parts of the River Medway and carried out surface water checks in surrounding areas.

Police in Lyons Crescent, Tonbridge, where Kieron Knowlden's body was found

Police in Lyons Crescent, Tonbridge, where Kieron Knowlden's body was found

A member of the public found his body in the river - near Lyons Crescent, which runs parallel with Medway Wharf Road and is near the town's lock - and called the police.

The stretch of water had previously been scoured by police.

It was no more than a couple of hundred yards from where CCTV cameras filmed Mr Knowlden walking and looking unsteady.

Police divers used sonar to try to find a body, but their efforts proved to be fruitless.

Mr Knowlden's brother, Kristy, 23, earlier told how he believed his brother's drink had been spiked after seeing the CCTV.

He said Kieron was walking more erratically than he would have done if he was just drunk.

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