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Young angler Jack Morrison who drowned in Sutton-at-Hone fishing lake died due to ‘misadventure’, coroner rules

14:23 15 February 2017

Jack Morrison. Photo: Kent Police/PA

Jack Morrison. Photo: Kent Police/PA

It may never be known how the football and fishing mad teenager drowned

A 16-year-old angler from Falkham whose body was pulled from a fishing lake in December died as a result of misaventure, a coroner has ruled.

Jack Morrison was reported missing after going fishing on privately owned lakes at Sutton-at-Hone, near Dartford, on the evening of Friday, December 16. He was found dead by rescue teams the following day.

It is believed the 16-year-old entered the water by accident or voluntarily - with the coroner concluding it will never be known how the student tragically drowned.

An inquest today heard the body of Jack, who was described as a “well-prepared and knowledgeable” young angler, was recovered last December 17 after he had fished overnight.

A large-scale search operation was launched after another angler moved round to where Jack was fishing and noticed his empty bivvy and rods half in the water.

Detective Sergeant Steve Smith of Kent Police, told the inquest that the student from Fawkham was later recovered from 7ft of water at around 3.10pm. His cause of death was drowning.

Mr Smith said some time before being dropped off fishing by his aunt, Jack had an altercation over the borrowing of some tools with his father who was arrested on suspicion of assault and bailed.

The officer told the inquest there was no evidence to suggest Jack, who lived with his mother, was at risk of harm from his father, or that anyone else wanted to seriously hurt him.

Mr Smith went on: “My inquiries point to Jack entering the water voluntarily or by accident, and him then being unable to get out of the water.”

Recording a conclusion of misadventure, senior north west Kent coroner Roger Hatch said: “Unfortunately, we shall never know how it was that Jack ended up in the fishing lake from which he sadly drowned.”

Paying tribute, relatives of Jack said his “one true love” was spending weekends fishing. He was also a keen footballer, playing for Violenti Football Academy.

The teenager’s family said: “Although your life was short it was full; you had achieved so much and were on a path to success.

“Your life was not a waste and the last year you had become so funny, constantly making us laugh and thank you God for that, as we now have so many stories to share of your cheeky jokes.

“That is what is keeping us strong, the thought of your happy laughing face that we love more than words can say. Our lives will never be the same now, without you here with us and although we never thought there really were angels, now we do as it’s the only explanation for such a beautiful amazing boy.

“We love you so much Jack and we can’t even begin to put in to words the love and the pride you have given to us being in your life. Thank you so much for letting us be part of your life, our perfect angel Jack, the cheekiest, funniest, strongest amazing boy we ever had the pleasure to know.”

A crowdfunding campaign for Jack Morrison’s funeral raised over £18,000, which was set up by the Dartford and District Angling Preservation Society (DDAPS). The Fawkham teenager had been a member of the society since he was 8-years-old.

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