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Mystery surrounds why hospital chaplain drowned at sea in Llanddulas

Published date: 16 March 2017 |
Published by: Staff reporter
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The family of a hospital chaplain who drowned in the sea at Llanddulas was told that “there were far more questions than answers” relating to his death.

At an inquest into the death of the Rev Wayne Roberts in Ruthin Nicola Jones, assistant coroner for North Wales East and Central, said: “The reality is it will never be known what Mr Roberts was doing there, what his intentions were and how he came to end up in the water."

A dog walker found the body of the 57-year-old Presbyterian minister on the beach at Llanddulas shortly before 7am on October 5.

Though he was about two metres above the water-line his clothes were drenched, and a post-mortem examination revealed that he had drowned.

His keys and phone were found his car parked nearby.

The coroner read a statement from Mr Roberts’ wife Anne Weeks in which she told how he had left their home in Pont y Bedol, Llanrhaeadr, near Denbigh, in the early hours of the morning, and his car was picked up by CCTV cameras at 3.54am.

Mrs Jones declined to read the statement in full as it contained many personal details but said she was “aware of personal circumstances occurring prior to his death”.

Tests showed that Mr Roberts had not taken any alcohol or medication and there were only minor bruises and grazes on his body, which seemed to indicate that he had not fallen over.

“There is nothing close to justifying considering a conclusion of suicide,” she commented.

Mr Roberts’s brother Ian Roberts told the inquest: “My brother didn’t like the water and was never one for water.”

Recording a narrative conclusion, Mrs Jones said: “A post-mortem examination that Mr Roberts found had drowned but his intentions and how he came to be on the beach cannot be ascertained.”

Before becoming full-time chaplain for the Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board early last year Mr Roberts had several churches under his care in the Denbigh area, including Llandyrnog, Llanrhaeadr and Gellifor.

After leaving school he attended catering college and last year took over the Nant y Felin restaurant in Llanrhaeadr.

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