Coroner pledges to find answers after body is found with slash wounds

THE Black Country coroner has vowed to find answers after slash marks were discovered after death on the wrist of a Lye man who shot himself.

Stephen Round, known as Elvis, was found dead on the floor of his bedroom in Malvern Avenue, Lye, on March 27, with a 5.5mm air rifle placed on the bed alongside a note.

The 37-year-old had shot himself in the right side of his head.

Two letters found at the scene suggested he was feeling low over the death of his long-term partner two years ago.

Dudley Coroner’s Court heard a post-mortem confirmed Mr Round’s death was due to a gunshot wound to the head, but Mr Round’s family, who attended the hearing, questioned why no mention had been made of slash wounds on his arms - which they discovered when they visited Mr Round in the chapel of rest the day before his funeral.

His sister, Angela Round, of Merryfield Road, Russells Hall, said: “The day before his burial we went to see him, my cousin pulled down the covers to see the football top we had taken for him to wear when she pointed out the marks running up his wrists on both arms which had both been wrapped in cling film. We all saw the marks.”

However coroner Robin Balmain said he was “puzzled” at the family’s claim, as there was no report of Mr Round having slashed wrists at the time of his death - and he permitted Miss Round to view photographs of her brother’s body, which she confirmed did not show the wounds.

Pathologist Dr Sixto Batitang also verified there were no arm wounds when he carried out the post-mortem two days after Mr Round’s death.

Mr Balmain said: “Sometimes inquests don’t answer all the questions you need to know and this is probably the case here.

“This is outside my realm but I’m prepared to do something about this as I’m puzzled about the arm injuries. It seems to me the answer must lie either at the mortuary or the undertakers. I will make some enquiries to this particular question as it is puzzling.

“It hasn’t been a factor in his death, nevertheless he is still entitled to be treated with dignity.”

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