THE family of a young man who died 15 years ago say they are still struggling to come to terms with his death.
Stuart Ian Davies, from Mold, died aged 21 on November 1, 1998 from a lethal concoction of ethanol and heroin.
Uncertainty still surrounds the death of Mr Davies after an open verdict was recorded at an inquest in July 1999.
At the time the coroner, the late John Hughes, raised concerns about conflicting evidence at the hearing and suggesting a lack of truthfulness from some witnesses giving evidence.
He promised to reopen the inquest if more evidence came to light. But a decade and a half on the case remains closed.
Mr Davies’ parents, Ian Davies and Cathy Foster, said they and their other children – sons Anthony, 41, and Leslie, 37, and daughter Nicky, 40 – could not come to terms with Stuart’s death. “It’s devastated us all,” said Mrs Foster.
The parents said Nicky was particularly badly affected. Mr Davies said his daughter was 25 when Stuart – a former pupil of Alun School, Mold – died and she was raising a young daughter of her own.
“She’s still cut up about it all these years later. It’s hit her really badly,” he said.“I’ve always said to her all you’ve got to do is think of a time you enjoyed being with Stuart or think of something silly he did.
“It takes the sadness away and puts a smile on your face. Otherwise losing one son is going to take away all the rest of the people.”
He said Stuart and his brother Leslie were like best friends.
Mrs Foster said: “Leslie finds it hard too. The two of them were always together.
They were very different but they did everything together.”
Where Leslie was quiet, she said, Stuart was lively.
“He’d do anything for a laugh,” she added. “He was very loving. He’d do anything for anybody, especially for his brothers and sisters, even though he was the youngest.”
Mr Davies said Stuart’s birthday was a particularly difficult time.
“When that comes up, we all think about him but to be honest,” he said. “But never a day goes by when I don’t mention him or think about him. Every day he’s coming up in some conversation or thought. It’s a shock that it’s been so long since we lost him.”
Mr Davies, who lives in Chester with partner Sue Rothwell and their son Ryan, seven said his young son often reminded him of the son he lost.
“I’ve told Ryan about Stuart,” he said. “He thinks he’s a star in the sky.”
Recalling Stuart’s funeral service, he said the huge numbers at St Mary’s Church in Mold showed the huge impact he made in his short life.
“You couldn’t get in the church there were that many people,” said Mr Davies. “I’d never seen the church so full. It was packed. They were standing outside. I just couldn’t believe how many people came to pay their respects.”
The family were joined by the mourners as they walked through the town with police having to stop the traffic.
Mrs Foster added: “Everybody walked with us. I want to say thank you because I didn’t thank anyone at the time. I really want to say thank you to everybody who came.”
She also wanted to thank Stuart’s friends who arranged a party in his honour and raised money for his headstone.
“They were good friends,” said Mrs Foster.
Mr Davies added: “As short as his life was, Stuart did enjoy it. He made the most of it.
“He would have been like that now.”
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