A retired carer was found in a river just hours after being discharged from hospital, an inquest has heard.

Richard Ernest Owen, from Llansantffraid, had twice been to the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital – on July 13 and 14 – complaining about stomach pain and was given morphine-based pain relief.

An inquest heard that the 66-year-old said that the pain relief did not agree with him and made his legs “feel funny”.

Mr Owen, a keen walker who liked being outdoors, was later found on July 14 in the River Severn near the Boat House in Llandrinio, near Four Crosses and Arddleen, with his car parked nearby.

An autopsy report concluded that Mr Owen had suffered an aorta rupture - a burst artery - most likely before going into the water.


Pontypridd Coroner’s Court heard Mr Owen was temporarily staying at his sister's home whilst his house was undergoing renovation work.

On July 13, he went to the hospital in Shrewsbury suffering from stomach pain and was prescribed lactulose, a laxative.

The inquest heard Mr Owen’s pain symptoms increased, and he was again seen at Shrewsbury hospital the following day on July 14.

There he underwent a number of tests and was later discharged with a morphine-based pain relief.  

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He stated that this did not agree with him and had made his 'legs feel funny'.

Assistant coroner Sarah-Jane Richards concluded that Mr Owen was found dead on the river bank following an aortic rupture and immersion in the River Severn.

Last year, a tribute paid to Mr Owen described him as a “beloved husband, loving father and a dear brother” who is sadly missed by all his family and friends.

What happens at an inquest and what can the press report?

Reporting on inquests is one of the most difficult jobs faced by any journalist, but there are important reasons why local newspapers attend coroner’s court hearings and report on proceedings.

Here we will try and answer some of your questions about what will happen, what can be reported and why.