Derby

Nick Pearson Thailand death: Mum believes son was murdered

Nick Pearson Image copyright Pearson family
Image caption Nick Pearson's body was found in the sea during a holiday to Thailand last year

The mother of a man who died in Thailand last year told a coroner she believes her son was murdered.

Nick Pearson's body was found by scuba divers in the sea after he disappeared following a night out with his family on New Year's Eve.

The family, from Derby, had been visiting the island of Koh Tao where Mr Pearson's brother, Matt, was working.

Derby coroner Louise Pinder said there was not enough evidence to say how he died and recorded an open verdict.

Nick's mother Tracy Pearson, told Derby and South Derbyshire Coroner's Court she had "a gut feeling there was foul play".

The inquest, opened earlier this year as a result of Nick's death being treated as suspicious, was told the family had been out for a meal and drinks to celebrate the new year.

Nick's dad Graham had been the last person to see him when he walked with his son back to where the family was staying.

The following morning the family raised the alarm when Nick failed to answer the door.

Image copyright Pearon family
Image caption The Pearson family had been on holiday in Thailand

Mrs Pearson said when police recovered his body the next day they were told he had fallen 50ft (15m) and drowned in an accident.

However, she told the court it was "her gut feeling" that her son had been assaulted, especially in light of what had happened to two tourists earlier this year.

Mr Pearson, aged 25, died on the same island where backpackers Hannah Witheridge and David Miller were murdered in September.

Pathologist Dr Michael Biggs told the hearing that there were many injuries on Nick's body, including to the head, limbs and face.

But, he said that most of these would have been present prior to his death - although he could not completely rule out the possibility that Nick had been attacked.

The coroner Ms Pinder concluded there was not enough evidence to say where or how he met his death.

Derbyshire Police are liaising with Thai authorities and the Foreign Office over Nick's death.

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