UEA student drowned after taking drug, inquest concludes

UEA student Nick Sadler drowned after taking cannabis, an inquest has concluded. 

Norfolk’s senior coroner, Jacqueline Lake said:

“Mr Sadler was found dead having gone into the UEA lake. He had smoked cannabis prior to his death.”

The 25-year-old was found dead after drowning in UEA’s lake 11 days after he went missing. It was heard that Mr Sadler had been “feeling anxious” about life and school. He had been taking advantage of help and support from the university, meeting with a mentor regularly following his arrival in 2015.

On the day of his disappearance he had not left a suicide note and did not mention suicidal thoughts immediately before his death. Mr Sadler’s mentor said he met the film and television student “almost weekly” and the last time he saw him, on February 6, he seemed “more agitated than usual,” but he had no concern for Nick’s safety during the session.

Mr Sadler’s housemate, Kieron Woodcock, “noticed him becoming more anxious about life after university,” according to the coroner during the inquest. There is also CCTV footage shown of Mr Sadler walking “purposefully” towards the lake at around 04:30 on February 8.

Mr Sadler’s father, William, said his son had begun “normalising” the use of cannabis. In a statement his father said his son had suffered from anxiety since around the age of 18 and was prescribed antidepressants.

Mr Sadler said: “It was a privilege to have him as a son. He was so supportive of everyone and wanted to help everyone, and he couldn’t understand why the world was not like that with him.”

“He loved people, and he loved cats – he was mad on animals generally. He was kind – I never had an argument with him. I knew he would have made a lovely father, but he won’t have that chance.”

His brother, Oliver, 31, said: “He’d do anything for you. He never hurt anybody, he was kind and funny to be around. He has given us so many wonderful memories and I still can’t believe that this has actually happened. We all miss him terribly.”


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Bryan Mfhaladi

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October 2021
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