Death of ‘loving and thoughtful’ Tangmere teenager ruled an accident by coroner

Angus Jones. Photo issued by Sussex Police. 5yMoF_SzdKoNXNT9O5u0
Angus Jones. Photo issued by Sussex Police. 5yMoF_SzdKoNXNT9O5u0

The death of 17-year-old Angus Jones has been ruled an accident at an inquest this morning (October 18).

Angus died from a head injury after a collision with a car on the A27 near Tangmere on Monday, June 18, when he was on his way home after a meal out with his girlfriend.

In an emotional statement from his mother Clare Dalgleish, read out by coroner’s officer Geoff Charnock, Angus’ death was described as ‘devastating’.

Miss Dalgleish added: “His death has been devastating for us all. We are struggling to come to terms with it.

“I struggle to sleep at night. His ten-year-old sister has had to have support at school and his 22-year-old brother is really struggling at work. Everyone was shocked and upset.

“He wanted to live and we all love him so much. Part of my heart is missing.”

In an equally moving statement, Faith Wright said she lost a ‘loving and thoughtful’ boyfriend who ‘didn’t have a bad thing to say about anyone’.

She added: “We got on really well and we knew we would have a long and happy relationship. I saw him every single day.

“He enjoyed life and we had so many plans together. He wanted to get a car so he could take me to Cornwall to teach me how to surf.

“I came with him to Chichester to look at houses which were in his price range.

“He started to come to family events and told my parents at a barbecue that he adored me and thanked them for bringing me into the world. He was the sweetest person. He was really really happy.”

Angus had recently started working as a refuse collector for Chichester District Council, and received a badge and new uniform on the day of the accident.

Miss Dalgleish said her son was ‘really proud’ of the job and enjoyed it, despite its ‘gruelling’ nature and early starts.

Dr Ali Alhakim, who carried out the post mortem examination, ruled the cause of death was a head injury.

Sussex forensic police investigator Stewart Medlycott arrived at the westbound carriageway of the A27 at 8.55pm and confirmed that there were ‘no defects’ with the road or the car in the collision.

The court heard that Angus had previously suffered from depression, although the possibility of suicide was eventually ruled out by senior coroner for West Sussex jurisdiction, Penelope Schofield.

Miss Dalgleish confirmed that her son used to have ‘morbid thoughts and was depressed’.

However, the fact that Angus had a new job, a new girlfriend and had many plans for the future suggested that suicide was an unlikely cause of death.

Miss Dalgleish said the family ‘didn’t believe’ it was suicide and Miss Wright said her boyfriend was ‘very happy’ and ‘completely normal’ when they went their separate ways prior to the accident.

She said they left the restaurant in Chichester at 6.30pm and went to the bus stop ‘where we had our first kiss’.

“When we got on our separate buses, we had a conversation over text messages about wanting to take things slow.

“It was a normal conversation we had quite often so nothing out of the ordinary.”

In her concluding statement, coroner Penelope Schofield said there were ‘no concerns’ about Angus prior to his death.

However, she said that there was ‘no explanation’ as to why Angus ran into the road.

“A theory is that he may have dropped his cap in the road and went to retrieve it but there is no evidence to support that,” she said.

“I am not satisfied it was suicide. It may have been a spur of the moment thing, but he had made plans for the future and he had a new girlfriend and a new job.

“There is insufficient evidence to suggest that Angus intended to take his own life so I rule the death as an accident.

“We would like to offer our sincere condolences to the family and everyone involved in his life.”