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'I got no support whatsoever' - Grieving father slams police following son's death

PUBLISHED: 11:32 04 March 2019 | UPDATED: 15:22 04 March 2019

David Cossey. PICTURE: Jamie Honeywood

David Cossey. PICTURE: Jamie Honeywood

Jamie Honeywood Archant Norwich Norfolk

A father has opened up about his struggle to come to terms with his son's death and raised questions about the support offered by police following such tragedies.

The body of 20-year-old James Cossey was discovered in a drainage ditch on Somerleyton Estate on May 20 last year.

An inquest later ruled the former soldier, of Clover Road, Norwich, had drowned after taking cocaine and ketamine during an illegal rave at the site.

However, it was unable to establish exactly how he came to be in the water.

For his father David Cossey, the memory of that day still hangs over him.

And he feels more could have been done by Suffolk Police to provide support during the challenging period.

The 59-year-old said: “It was about 1.30pm on May 20, I got a knock on the door and it was two Norfolk Police officers who told me my son had passed away.

“The how, why or when, I didn’t know - they couldn’t tell me anything, they had no details.

“They stayed with me for about 10 minutes and then left. I was just devastated; I didn’t know what was going on.

“I got no support whatsoever, no liaison officers. My neighbours came round and supported me – that was it.”

Mr Cossey added: “I would have thought Suffolk Police would have come round and told me what happened, not just pass it on to Norfolk Police who had no clue what had happened and just told me my son had passed away.

“They didn’t know anything about it; they were just informed because they got his I.D out if his wallet.

“I thought I might have had a police liaison officer or some form of support.”

Mr Cossey admitted he is still struggling to come to terms with his son’s untimely death and will soon be visiting Cruse Bereavement Care’s Norwich branch to receive further support.

He added: “I had to sign up myself. It’s to try and help me deal and cope with the loss of my son,

“I don’t accept it – I still think he’s coming home; even though I know he’s not.”

Suffolk Police

Suffolk Police have responded to Mr Cossey’s claims and explained Norfolk Police informed him of his son’s death as part of routine procedure.

Det Sgt Steve Bunn said: “Where next-of-kin is out of force we liaise with the other force as early as possible to avoid delay, ensuring a local officer attends in person.

“That officer is not necessarily always in full facts of the case, but the priority is to inform the relative of the death and to provide details of the circumstances which are known at that time. At the time Mr Cossey was informed of his son’s death, the investigating officers were conducting their enquiries at the scene in Somerleyton.”

He added: “Officers will always provide their contact details, to answer any questions on behalf of the relatives. Contact details will also be provided for the Coroner’s Officers who will be able to answer questions about the procedures following death and provide details of bereavement services.

“I am aware that an officer from Lowestoft CID visited Mr Cossey personally on three occasions in Norwich and made several phone calls to him, with updates on the case.”

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