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Death of Christopher Brahney, who went missing after a Stone Roses concert, deemed unexplained
THE family and friends of Christopher Brahney – who drowned after attending a Stone Roses concert last year – have been told they will never know the full details of his death.
Christopher, who was 22 and from Timperley, was found in the Manchester Ship Canal on July 9, 10 days after he was last seen at the reunion concert in Heaton Park, Manchester.
At the inquest, which was held at Stockport Coroner’s Court on February 4, deputy coroner, Joanne Kearsley, said she did not have the evidence available to her to determine exactly how Christopher came to be in the water.
She added that while the traces of alcohol and MDMA (a form of Ecstasy) in Christopher’s system contributed to his death – as they may have altered his perception and mood – they did not cause it.
The inquest heard that Christopher had attended the gig with a large group of friends, having obtained a VIP ticket as one of his pals is the nephew of Stone Roses lead singer, Ian Brown.
Mark Dale, who was with Christopher throughout the duration of the concert, said the former Wellington School student realised he had lost his phone shortly before the gig ended, at around 11.30pm.
The two tried to leave the park together, but became separated in the chaotic crowd.
CCTV footage pieced together by police after Christopher’s body was recovered close to MediaCity in Salford – shows Christopher, who lived with his family is Westwood Avenue – retrieving shoes he had bought earlier and hidden at Shudehill Metrolink Station.
Mr Dale explained he, Christopher and another friend had bought the plimsoles as they were wearing wellingtons at the gig and thought they would not be allowed into bars wearing the outdoor footwear if they headed into Manchester afterwards.
Other CCTV footage shows the Leeds University graduate walking through the city centre, close to bars he often frequented with his friends, before entering an alleyway close to St Mary’s Parsonage, which backs onto the River Irwell.
Dr Naomi Carter, who carried out the post mortem, said that as the walkway is lined with a very high rail, Christopher must have climbed over it, or been thrown over it into the river 40 feet below.
However, Det Insp Deborah Oakes of Trafford CID, ruled out any third party involvement, as there is only one way in and one way out of the alleyway and no one did so for many hours before or after Christopher.
Dr Carter added that Christopher’s body had sustained a number of injuries, but these were most likely happened after he entered the water, as they were not accompanied by any bruising, as is common with post-mortem injuries.
A witness whose flat backs onto the walkway, told police at the time of the investigation that he had seen a man matching Christopher’s description sitting in the alleyway with his back to the railing in the early hours of July 30.
The inquest heard that Christopher had been treated for anxiety in 2010 but his father, Stuart Brahney, said the idea that Christopher had intentionally harmed himself had not entered his consciousness even for a second.
Mr Brahney described Christopher as the perfect son and a joy to be around and said his death had left a large void in the entire family.
He thanked the emergency services and members of the public who helped in the high profile search for his son, as well as Christopher’s friends, the commitment of which had been outstanding.
Ms Kearsley said recording an open verdict was the only and correct option available to her.