Coroner’s apology after photographs of Doncaster doorman’s death in Cambodia posted on the ‘dark web’
A coroner apologised to the family of a ‘popular’ Doncaster doorman who was found dead in a hotel room in Cambodia after a picture of his death was posted on the internet.
Assistant Coroner Louise Slater heard how Carl Kendall was found in a hotel bedroom on the island of Koh Rong on May 30, 2018.
She also apologised to his relatives for recording a narrative conclusion but said that, based on the evidence, she was unable to record a conclusion of suicide as she said the evidence she had heard did not prove Mr Kendall intended to take his own life.
Doncaster Coroner's Court heard Mr Kendall, 39, a grandad-of-one, was travelling in Asia for the second time and had just split with his girlfriend, who he met in Thailand.
In a statement, his brother Scott said Mr Kendall had struggled to come to terms with the death of their mother Barbara, who died of cancer in 1997.
A GP report also detailed a history of anxiety, depression and panic attacks.
Scott said he found out about his brother's death when he received a phone call on May 30, 2018.
He said: "There was a local article of my brother's death and in the article there was a link to a photo of my brother hanging on the dark web."
He added it had been a 'heavily emotional time' for the family, including Mr Kendall's daughter Amy and her son Mylo, who Mr Kendall never met.
Mrs Slater raised concerns about the photograph and said she had ‘no idea how it came to be in existence’.
She said: “We don't know whether somebody had access to the room either at the time or afterwards.”
Mr Kendall’s father John said he had ‘no idea at all’ how the picture came about.
He added his son had a lot of friends from working as a doorman, who raised money to help get his body back to the UK.
He said: "The last time I spoke to him, he was fine.
"He sent me a screenshot in a bar with his thumb up and a glass in his hand and then a couple of days later it was all over."
The coroner, who described Mr Kendall as ‘popular’ within both Doncaster and with friends he’d met while travelling, said she only had ‘very limited’ information from the Cambodian authorities.
She said: “If this had occurred in this country then firstly the police would have check to see if it’s suspicious and then, when they are satisfied it’s not a suspicious death, they look for letters or notes or that anything that could indicate intention of suicide.
“I can’t really find anything from any of the documentation to say that Carl left a note that he said he intended to commit suicide.”
John said Mr Kendall, of Fleming Way, Flanderwell, Rotherham, had tried to kill himself on two previous occasions – both around Christmas time.
Mrs Slater also heard how Mr Kendall was involved in a motorbike accident and a fight in a bar in the weeks leading up to his death but added there was no evidence to suggest there would be ‘repercussions’ from those incidents.
She accepted forensic pathologist Dr Philip Lumb's cause of death as hanging and recorded a narrative conclusion.
Mrs Slater said: “At the time of his death Mr Kendall was travelling and the exact circumstances surrounding his death remain unclear.
“I apologise if that does not give you any closure but I hope you understand why I can’t give a definitive conclusion.
“I am sorry that we have met in these circumstances and I am sorry that we have been unable to answer all the questions, we would like to but I am faced by the evidence before me.”