Inquest date set for Sussex man who died in Greece

More than three years after a newlywed vanished on a holiday isle, the cause of his death remains tragically unknown.

However, next month a Sussex coroner will examine the circumstances surrounding the death of Nick Stonley, 40, who disappeared in August 2009 on the Greek island of Rhodes.

His heartbroken wife Ginnie Street, to whom he had been married for a year, launched a major hunt for him after he vanished following a walk.

Mrs Street, who grew up in Crawley Down but lived with her husband in East Grinstead where she has returned to, recruited the Greek Police, trawled the streets and villages and put up posters in shops and bars.

Four months later, in November 2009, his skeleton was found on a building site less than a mile from where he lived.

Greek Police said they believed Mr Stonley, who had gone to Rhodes with the hope of opening a restaurant, had suffered an epileptic fit and subsequently malnutrition, something Mrs Street also thinks is possible.

However, there is no certainty that this is how he died and an inquest date has now been set.

On October 18 in Eastbourne Magistrates’ Court, a Sussex coroner will examine the circumstances surrounding Mr Stonley’s death and the four months afterwards when his body lay in the building site.

Mrs Street said her husband could easily have become overcome by the boiling Greek heat but added it is devastating he died less than a mile from his home and he was not found for so long.

She said she believes he could have been saved if he had been found sooner.

Mrs Street, 37, said: “My life has been hell since it happened.

“They found a skeleton, enough to identify him, but there was no soft tissue.

“I don’t know what happened and the inquest is likely to return a cause of unascertained death so I will never know.”

She has since returned to Sussex but the trauma has led to her taking anti-depressants and putting on weight.

She said the reaction of some people where she lived had been unhelpful, adding: “They seem to think I murdered him. Obviously I didn’t. I am blameless.

“Nick was generous and kind. He was completely mad and he had me in fits of giggles.

“I still kiss his photo.”

The inquest into Mr Stonley’s death, which has been dated as August 29, 2009, will take place at 10am.

A coroner’s statement said: “His body was found on a building site in Rhodes, clearly having been there for some time. The cause of death was not able to be ascertained.”

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