MYSTERY surrounds the death of a man who drowned in a Southampton river after burgling a cannabis factory in the city.

An open conclusion has been recorded at an inquest into the death of Sol Hemy, whose body was found in the River Itchen at Riverside Park on September 5 2019.

Senior coroner Christopher Wilkinson said it had not been possible to establish how Mr Hemy ended up in the water.


  • Shots fired as men tried to burgle cannabis factory, inquest told

The inquest heard that he and four other men were making off with plants from a cannabis factory at River Walk when the people using the house suddenly turned up.

Neighbours said shots were fired and attempts made to run the men over as they dragged large bags of cannabis plants down the street.

Daily Echo:

Mr Hemy was seen running into the park pursued by a 4x4. His body was found five or six hours later by a woman walking her dog.

Police officers giving evidence at the inquest said Mr Hemy's DNA was discovered on the bonnet of a vehicle that was found abandoned at the scene.

Home Office pathologist Dr Amanda Jeffery said Mr Hemy's fingerprint was on one of the wheel arches, suggesting "light contact" with the vehicle.

Mr Wilkinson said there was no evidence it had knocked or pushed Mr Hemy into the river. He also said it was "very unlikely" that one of the men chasing him had followed him into the water and held his head under the surface.

The coroner heard evidence that Mr Hemy, 20, of Portsmouth Road, Southampton, was familiar with the park.

But he said Mr Hemy might have fallen into the river after failing to recognise there was a river at the end of the route he was taking.

Mr Wilkinson added: "There are a lot of ifs in those scenarios - it was dark and he was in a state of panic.

"It's not possible to establish exactly what happened in those last few seconds and that, to me, is regrettable."