Men jumped off Menai bridge tied to each other

Nathan Orritt (Blackpool Gazette)

An inquest has heard two men from Lancashire jumped from the Menai Suspension Bridge after tying themselves to each other.

The bodies of Richard Hollis and Nathan Orritt were found on a beach near Llanddwyn Island last Feburary. Two days earlier, Mr Hollis’ right foot and part of his leg had been discovered near Y Felinheli.

A coroner told the Caernarfon hearing that both men drowned after tying themselves together ”quite deliberately” to the waist and the wrist.

Mr Hollis (36), who moved to Preston from Warrington, was in North Wales for several days along with Mr Orritt (18), originally from Blackpool. A library card for Conwy county council and a phone were found in Mr Orritt’s pocket.

The men visited Conwy library on 2nd February and used a computer to look for jobs and places to rent in the local area. Both were unemployed and of no fixed abode at the time.

According to phone data and CCTV records, the pair camped overnight near Llandudno Junction, and went as far as Caergeiliog, before they found themselves in Menai Bridge.

Shortly before midnight on Monday 5th February – the day before Mr Hollis’s 37th birthday – a 999 call was made, but the operator hung up after 52 seconds when no sound was heard.

A police detective and a Home Office pathologist told the inquest they believed the men died very shortly after the 999 call.

Dr Brian Rodgers said the men would have been pulled underwater – and Mr Hollis would have lost his leg in the fall. But there were no CCTV pictures of the men at the bridge, nor any witnesses.

A police investigation was launched after the foot was discovered two days later on the beach at Y Felinheli. Then at the end of the week, a walker on Dinas Llwyd beach found the bodies tied up with a strong rope.

North West Wales coroner Dewi Pritchard Jones said he could only conclude that the pair climbed over the barrier of the bridge, intending to kill themselves. He added he could think of no other explanation ”why someone would throw themselves off a bridge”.

The inquest returned verdicts of suicide.

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