Inquest into man found in sea records open verdict

The inquest into the death of a man who disappeared after crashing his car and was then found dead in the North Sea has heard it is impossible to fully say what happened.

Liam Graham, 22, from Lower Stoke, Kent, was seen walking away from the accident, just before 01:00 BST in Stoke Road, between Lower Stoke and Hoo, on 22 July 2023.

His body was found four months later off the coast of Holland.

A coroner in Maidstone has recorded an open verdict.

The inquest heard Mr Graham had been drinking beer and vodka and witnesses said he had brought out a bag of cocaine and ketamine at a house party he attended.

A friend in the car with Mr Graham described how he was driving so fast he did not feel safe and remembered him taking a corner “extremely fast” just moments before the crash.

A member of the public saw Mr Graham by the car, and recorded footage of him holding his head and leaving the scene.

This was the last confirmed sighting of him and the inquest heard it was not possible to tell whether he had been injured in the crash.

Police searching woodland following the disappearance of Liam Graham
Police carried out extensive searches of the area where Liam Graham disappeared [Kent Police]

Officers spent days searching, and nearly two weeks after the crash a pair of Mr Graham's socks were found in a field, and his wallet three months later on farmland.

In November 2022 his body was found by a Dutch trawler.

His family said he could not swim and would be unlikely to enter the water voluntarily, while the coroner said there was no evidence he wanted to cause himself harm.

A forensic pathologist was unable to find any evidence as to how he died.

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