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Inquest into death of Strood teenager Ben Savage records accidental death

An inquest into the death of teenager Ben Savage, who died after falling into the River Medway, found he died an accidental death.

The popular 18-year-old from Strood and former pupil of Holmesdale School, Snodland, went missing on December 6 last year after a night out at the Tap n Tin in Chatham.

Following an eight-week search, Ben’s body was found in the River Medway, near Rochester Bridge, on February 1.

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Ben Savage
Ben Savage

In a statement released this afternoon from Ben's mum, Tara, Martin and Ben's family, said they would not be going to the inquest.

The statement said: "We would like to take this opportunity to thank the press for respecting our privacy since Ben's disappearance.

"Thank you too to Kent Police who have kept us well informed throughout this entire ordeal.

"For this reason, we will not be attending the Coroner's Court today as there are no further questions to be answered.

"We'd also like to again thank the rest of the emergency services and we hope that the £600 we, Ben's family and friends, raised for the RNLI and Kent Search and Rescue will aid your ongoing work."

Ms Savage previously paid tribute to him.

She said: “Ben has left a massive void in a lot of people’s lives, especially ours as his parents, and his brother’s.

Tributes left for Ben after his body was recovered from the River Medway.
Tributes left for Ben after his body was recovered from the River Medway.

“He was a creature of habit. At certain times throughout the day or evening we find ourselves still expecting him to walk through the door or pop into the lounge to ask us how he looked before going out with his friends.”

Ben was looking forward to his first “boys” holiday in Magaluf this summer and had planned to start driving lessons.

Video: Inquest into Ben Savage's death opens

The family were looking forward to a special Christmas, following the arrival of Ben’s niece, who was born just three weeks before he went missing.

The inquest, heard by Coroner Patricia Harding, was held at Archbishop's Palace, in Maidstone today.

It heard evidence from DI Chris Greenstreet, who told the hearing he was confident there was no third party involvement in Ben's tragic death and that he'd been on a night out drinking with friends.

The inquest confirmed there were no drugs in the teenager's system.

But there had been an "altercation" while he was in the Tap 'n Tin pub, in which Ben was injured.

He had been asked to leave, and was last seen near Sun Pier. No CCTV footage is available of him falling into the river.

Mrs Harding read out evidence from a pathology report.

She said: "He was intoxicated at the time of his death and I conclude died from drowning and his death was accidental."

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