Josh Clayton, 23, vanished after a party on the island of Tresco before his body washed up 12 days later
The son of a millionaire friend of Prince Charles is to be quizzed over the mysterious death of a bar manager on the Scilly Isles.
Josh Clayton, 23, vanished after a party on the island of Tresco before his body washed up 12 days later, with his clothes covered in blood.
Yesterday police ordered a fresh investigation into fears he may have been pushed into the sea to his death.
His inquest was halted after a witness claimed Mr Clayton had been involved in a scuffle with Polish and Hungarian men shortly before disappearing.
Officers are to speak to Tristan Dorrien-Smith, son of Robert Dorrien-Smith, the millionaire owner of Tresco and a lifelong friend of Prince Charles.
Tristan, 20, is understood to have attended the party, along with 43 revellers, many of them eastern Europeans working on the island for the summer. He previously told police he did not know about the fight. The Scillies, known for their low crime rate, have not had a murder since 1976.
The fresh evidence came from Leroy Thomas, a painter and decorator who told the inquest Mr Clayton had been ‘ranting and raving’ after an altercation with the men.
The 42-year-old had not mentioned the argument in statements to police after Mr Clayton disappeared on September 12, 2015.
Yesterday Mr Clayton’s family wept as their barrister Tom Leeper told Plymouth Coroner’s Court there was ‘substantial evidence of criminality on the night in question’
Detectives suspected he had been washed into the sea after lying on the beach and treated the case as a missing persons investigation.
Yesterday Mr Clayton’s family wept as their barrister Tom Leeper told Plymouth Coroner’s Court there was ‘substantial evidence of criminality on the night in question’.
Mr Leeper said: ‘The family very regretfully has no confidence in the ability of Devon and Cornwall Police to conduct an effective investigation.’ Officers may now have to track down and interview the eastern European partygoers, many of whom have long since left Tresco.
Mr Leeper said Mr Clayton’s clothes – which may hold vital evidence – had been destroyed without proper forensic analysis, while the post-mortem examination had been delayed by two weeks.
Mr Clayton vanished after a party on the island of Tresco (pictured), and an inquest heard he had been ‘ranting and raving’
He also said that, although there was evidence ‘hard drugs’ had been taken at the party, no substances were found in Mr Clayton’s body.
Andrew Waters, the barrister for the police, said new evidence meant ‘there are lines of inquiry which need to be pursued and bottomed out’. Suspending the inquest indefinitely, assistant coroner Ian Arrow said: ‘It is key that Leroy Thomas is re-interviewed. The police need to carry out further inquiries.’
Mr Clayton, from Taunton, Somerset, was last seen by friends looking ‘smashed’ as he left the party at a bar called The Shed.
A woman claims she had promised to walk home with him but when she returned minutes later he had disappeared. His body was found by a French yachtsman on a beach on the island of Tean 12 days later.
The Dorrien-Smith family live in Tresco Abbey, a mansion set within 17 acres of gardens. Charles and Camilla stay with the Dorrien-Smiths whenever they visit and, last September, Prince William was pictured with Robert Dorrien-Smith during a trip to the island.
A spokesman for Robert Dorrien-Smith, who runs the Tresco Estate, said: ‘To his knowledge, no attempts to speak to himself or his son regarding Josh’s death have been made since last summer, at which time Tristan gave a statement.’
Devon and Cornwall Police said the fresh evidence had emerged only at the inquest, adding: ‘Further investigations will be carried out as a result.’
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