The family of a dad-of-two who drowned in the pond in Haslam park last July are still searching for answers following an inquest into his death.Advertisement
Steven Wardle’s family paid tribute to “a loving, caring man, who was liked by everyone” following his inquest at Preston Coroner’s Court.
Steven, 31, a personal trainer at Pure Gym, was a keen athlete and ran regularly in Haslam Park, close to his home in Woodplumpton Lane, Fulwood.
But at 5am on July 9, he was found in the duck pond after being reported missing by his partner Beth Kendall.
Toxicology reports showed nothing untoward and a post mortem examination did not find any significant injuries or abnormalities.
Area coroner Richard Taylor said: “How he came into the water can not be ascertained. I can only repeat my condolences but that is all I can say.”
Steven’s mum Diane said: “He was fit, he was active, he was into healthy eating – he was only 31. He did everything they say you should to live a healthy life.”
Read more: Fundraiser launched to help children of man who died in Haslam Park
The inquest heard on July 9, Steven and Beth were due to go on holiday to Greece and had booked a taxi to take them to the airport at 2am.
At 1am Steven left the house to go for a run, after listening to meditation music to help with anxiety.
Beth shouted him back, but he did not return and continued with his run.
Police officers searched the park but were unable to find Steven. They resumed their search at dawn and tragically discovered Steven’s body.
Dr Mike Pitt, a pathologist at Royal Preston and Chorley Hospitals, said it was likely Steven’s body went into shock when he entered the cold water of the pond. He recorded the cause of death as drowning.
He told the court: “I suspect he died very rapidly.”
Diane said: “Steven was a keen athlete, he was a loving, caring, person. He gave 100% to everything he did.
“He had lots of friends and was really sociable. He thought the world of his two children, Harry, 12, and Eloise, who is three.
“He is just missed. It hit a lot of people very hard but knowing he didn’t suffer is a comfort to us.”
You can leave your tributes to Steven in the comments below.