'Lady in the Lake' killer Gordon Park committed suicide - verdict from inquest jury

Gordon Park

Gordon Park

First published in News
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An inquest jury has returned a verdict of 'suicide' at the inquest into the death of Gordon Park, who died in prison in January, 2010.

Evidence at the inquest this week has been heard from prisoners who were friends with Park during his time at HMP Garth in Leyland, as well as prison officers and the prison's chaplain and governor.

On the first day of the inquest Park's third wife Jennifer and pastor friend George Harrison described how Park had been 'devastated' when Mr Harrison's monthly visits to the prison had been stopped by the governor Simon Jarvis.

Park, from Barrow-in-Furness, was found guilty in 2005 of murdering his wife Carol with an ice axe and then dumping her trussed-up body in Coniston Water, where it lay undiscovered until August 1997.

She went missing in 1976. He was given a life sentence with a minimum tariff of 15 years, initially detained at HMP Manchester before being transferred to the lower security HMP Garth in Leyland.

Park's children have always denied he was responsible for her murder and have campaigned for his freedom.

The inquest at Preston Coroner's Court has examined events leading up to the death of Park, who was found dead in his prison cell on his 66th birthday on January 25, 2010.

He was led in bed with a plastic bag over his head and a cord around his neck. A bed sheet had also been pulled over his head. Pathologist Dr Alison Armer said the cause of death was asphyxia.

There was hemorrhaging around his neck, lips and eyes. His death was just a few days short of the fifth anniversary of his criminal conviction.

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