Family hopes for answers over father-of-two Terry McSpadden's 2007 disappearance
PUBLISHED: 10:21 08 November 2016 | UPDATED: 13:55 08 November 2016
New details about the days leading up to father-of-two Terry McSpadden's disappearance in 2007 have emerged after yesterday's inquest.
Though the 24-year-old’s body has never been found after he failed to turn up for work, his family is hoping for answers about his death.
Mr McSpadden, from Wisbech, had told several people close to him about a incident that had happened only days before he went missing, the inquest heard.
Mr McSpadden had been staying with a friend, Jonathan Porter, after a row with his long-term girlfriend, Rebecca Burton, with whom he had two children.
He relayed to his family, friends and probation officers that he had been relaxing on Mr Porter’s sofa that night when he felt that he was drugged in some way, either via an injection or by someone putting chloroform over his face.
He woke up some time later to realise he was completely encased in “industrial-style cling film”.
The sofa had been propped up so Mr McSpadden’s body would be cocooned.
“He told us he felt himself losing consciousness and felt he was going to die,” probation officer Diane Edmonds wrote in a statement, recalling the moment Mr McSpadden had confided in her and another officer about the event.
Mr McSpadden’s housemate Mr Porter eventually returned to the home and cut him free.
The incident had badly shaken him.
“He said he thought anyone who had done it would murder him...in his mind he had no enemies to think of,” Mr Ayres wrote in his statement to the inquest.
When Mr McSpadden failed to show up for work at Economy Windows on Friday, March 2, 2007, where he worked as a labourer, his family and friends were immediately concerned.
He had been wearing an electronic monitoring ankle bracelet at the time – a requirement imposed by the courts after a drinking-related offence – and signal with the device was lost after 8.43am that day. He was last seen the night before at the Locomotive pub in town and at a nearby Tesco.
Colleague and friend Ian Ayres found the absence from work to be uncharacteristic of his normal behaviour and a clear sign that something was wrong, the inquest heard.
Mr McSpadden was scheduled to have the device removed on March 15 and Mr Ayres said his friend was “looking forward to making a fresh start”.
“That’s why I think something bad happened when he went missing... I do not think Terry is alive,” he wrote in a statement.
More than anything, family and friends hope the inquest will provide some answers to the mystery surrounding Mr McSpadden’s disappearance.
His mother, Helen Thrower, said: “He was a lovely boy growing up, a lovely child... he doted on his children, he thought there was nothing like them.”
The inquest continues today.
How events unfolded
January 27, 2007: Mr McSpadden is fitted with an electronic monitoring bracelet, after a weekend curfew is imposed by the courts for a drinking-related offence
February 17, 2007: Mr McSpadden tells friends and family that he was relaxing on the sofa when he was possibly drugged, woke up and found himself tightly wrapped in ‘industrial-style cling film.’ He feels he is suffocating and his housemate, Jonathan Porter, arrives to the scene and cuts him out of the material
March 2, 2007: Mr McSpadden does not show up for work, causing concern among family, friends and colleagues. His monitoring device goes out of range for the last time at 8.43am. Shortly after he is declared a missing person
2014: Crimestoppers offers a reward of £5,000 for information about the disappearance
November 7, 2016: A two-day inquest is opened to fully examine the details of Mr McSpadden’s case