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Mystery after dad's body found on Keighley riverbank
Mystery still surrounds the death of a Keighley dad whose decomposing body was found by an angler on an overgrown riverbank.
Assistant Bradford coroner Tim Ratcliffe recorded an open verdict on 35-year-old Mohammed Bashir, who had been missing from his Dalton Lane home for five weeks before his body was discovered on September 15, 2011, hidden in thick vegetation.
The inquest heard how a police search of the River Worth, just days after his disappearance on August 4 that year, had failed to find him, although he was probably already lying dead. An investigation by police later found those officers should have flagged up the thick overgrowth near Aireworth Grove, Stockbridge, to their supervisor, but did not.
Mr Bashir, who had gone missing before and had a history of mental health problems and self-harm, was only found when an elderly angler clambered up the riverbank to get out of deep water and fell over him.
There were signs of burning on the body and he was clutching a lighter in his hand. The inquest was told Mr Bashir had heard voices before telling him to burn himself.
Pathologist Dr Philip Lumb said if the body had been found earlier he might have had a better chance of finding a cause of death. But because it had lain so long, it had not been possible.
Mr Bashir's brother-in-law Mohammed Tawaseem, who was his main carer, said in a statement read out that “he was a ticking timebomb waiting to kill himself.”
The inquest was told how after marrying Mr Tawaseem's sister in Kashmir in 1995 Mr Bashir had to be “talked into getting on the plane” and seemed to develop mental health problems later.
He did go back to Pakistan for one year but was so difficult to look after his family sent him back to the UK to relatives in London, who eventually passed him on to family in Birmingham and finally back to his wife and her family in Keighley.
After he went missing for the last time, it took three days for his family to report him missing to police which, sparked suspicions among some of them that Mr Tawaseem already knew he was dead, the inquest heard.
Mr Tawaseem said suspicions and rumours that he had threatened to break relatives’ legs if they went to police earlier, were untrue.
Mr Ratcliffe said although a cause of death could not be ascertained, he was satisfied the death had not been suspicious. He said: “If any other evidence comes up, that must be reported to the police immediately.”