Stroud Labourer's Sad Death
Inquest and Verdict
Mr R H Smith (Deputy Coroner) held and inquest at the Target Inn, Stroud, on Tuesday evening on the body of Tom Smith, labourer aged 54 who was found dead in a shed at the Conygre, Bisley Road, Stroud on Monday Morning.
Ada Witts, wife of Walter Witts, gas fitter, of Tower Hill Stroud, said the deceased was her husbands half-brother. She last saw him alive near the Cross on Saturday night, but she was not near enough to speak to him. Deceased often called at her house for food, which was given him, and she did not think he ever wanted for something to eat. He was a labourer and did odd jobs.
Charles James Orchard Webb, lime burner of Tower Hill Stroud said that at 9.30am on Monday he had visited a shed near his limekiln at the Conygre, Bisley Road. He saw the deceased lying there wrapped in bags. He was quite dead and had apparently died in his sleep. The door was tied with string and witness had some difficulty opening the it. He had never given the deceased permission to sleep in the shed.
Dr Whitley saide he had made a post mortem examination of the body. The righthand index finger and thumb had been eaten away by rats. The body was that of a well-built and well nourished man. Death was due to asphyxia caused by the fumes from the lime-kiln near where the body had been found. The body was in a filthly state.
PC Aston said he had removed the body from the shed to the skittle alley at the Target Inn and examined it. He found 1s 2 ½ d in his pocket and a stamped national insurance card.
The jury returned a verdict in accordance with the medical testimony.