The Independent London Newspaper

Open verdict in piano teacher inquest

Julian Bray

A PIANO teacher and tennis coach who struggled with depression drowned in the River Thames after going missing from his West Hampstead home, an inquest heard.
The body of 41-year-old Julian Bray was spotted in the river on September 1 by passers by, three days after he walked out of the house he shared with his parents in Burrard Road, apparently heading to a party.
St Pancras Coroner's Court heard last Thursday how Mr Bray, who had battled depression for eight years, had
frequently discussed “persistent” suicidal thoughts.
Mr Bray left home at 9.30pm on August 28 and told his family he was going to a party. He later came into contact with police on Waterloo Bridge. PC Kelly Philpott, who spoke to Mr Bray shortly after midnight, said he showed no signs of being excessively drunk or in an anxious or depressed state.
Recording an open verdict, Coroner Andrew Reid said there was not substantial evidence to record a verdict of suicide.
He said: “There is no evidence to suggest how when or where he went into the river. There is some circumstantial evidence of suicidal planning, but even with this evidence I'm not sure that I can safely conclude Mr Bray voluntarily jumped into the River Thames.”
Verdict: Open

JOSIE HINTON

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