Former soldier who fought in Bosnia found electrocuted in bath in Hackney

A former soldier who fought in Bosnia and would wake-up screaming was found electrocuted in the bath, an inquest has heard.

Victor Lourenco’s wife of six-years, Edina, broke down as she told Poplar Coroner’s Court how she found him in the Cazenove Road flat they shared on April 17, on returning home from her cleaning job at 9pm.

“I saw him I the bath and thought he was relaxing, I said, “Love I’ve arrived,” he didn’t reply, he just kept quiet,” she said through an interpreter.

Angolan-born Mr Lourenco was lying on his back with his arms folded across his chest and was wearing a pair of navy shorts.

His wife could hear a pair of black hair clippers buzzing in the bath, which was filled to the brim with water.


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The coroner Miss Selena Lynch described how a “complicated arrangement” of extension leads led through to the kitchen.

Toxicology reports showed the 38-year old had been drinking heavily.

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Mrs Lourenco told the coroner she did not believe he was depressed, but did admit she was worried about the extent of his drinking.

However Pc Martin Starling, who attended the scene and spoke to Mrs Lourenco said: “She said he’d been depressed and had been soldier in Bosnian war, he would wake up screaming.”

The court heard how he had been given a warning at work after repeatedly turning up inebriated at a construction site, and how he had sought help from his GP to cope with his drinking.

“All appearances bar one detail suggests this may have been an accident, because it’s clear the razor was being used to shave, people are often not fully cognizant of the dangers of electrical items in bathrooms,” said Miss Lynch.

“It seems to be an odd thing to do, to shave before killing yourself.

“The detail that puzzles me is the shorts, why was he wearing shorts in the bath?

“I think the suspicion remains he may have formed some sort of idea about hurting himself, I just don’t know and I’m sorry to say the only person who can tell us just isn’t with us,” she added, recording an open verdict.

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