BBC journalist ‘already dead’ when partner tried to lift his body and died next to him

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John Stevenson, 68, was found on his living room floor in March 2020.

Police also discovered the body of his partner and fulltime carer Mark Turner.

An inquest was not held into Mr Turner’s death as that was immediately confirmed to have been from natural causes.

But while a coroner this week ruled Mr Stevenson had also died from natural causes, the exact circumstances will remain a mystery.

The former BBCWALES political correspondent was found in a seated position and MrTurner was discovered lying face down next to him at their home in Aberdare, South Wales. Con- sultant forensic pathologist Dr Stephen Leadbetter told South Wales central coroner’s court that Mr Turner’s arms “appeared to be in a position suggesting an attempt by him to lift the other man”.

He added: “I understood crime scene investigators had seen nothing to suggest violence or a struggle.”

But after a post-mortem examination and various tests he was unable to establish a cause of death. Other experts ruled out carbon monoxide poisoning and an “electrical accident”.

Dr Leadbeatter told the inquest: “While I am unable to offer a specific anatomical explanation for death, I found no evidence to indicate that trauma played a part.”

Mr Stevenson, who retired in 2013, suffered a second stroke in 2017 and his mobility and speech had declined. One of his former BBC colleagues, Bethan Price, had been in regular contact with Mr Turner but said this last happened on February 26, 2020.

She said: “I texted again on March 8 and got no reply.”

A district nurse went to the couple’s house on March 5 but got no answer.

Police were called when there was no response to a follow-up call a week later.

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Detective James Morris said: “Both of the gentlemen were deceased in the lounge.

“Mark may have been trying to pull Mr Stevenson up from the floor.”

Assistant Coroner David Regan said it was “likely” Mr Stevenson died prior to March 12 but was unable to give an exact date of death.

He added: “There was no suspicion of the involvement of any other person.”

Verdict: Natural causes.

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