A MAN who vanished ten years ago may have been dumped at sea or buried, an inquest has ruled.

Kevin John Palmer has never been seen since a night he spent with friends drinking in pubs and a country club in Hampshire in March 1999.

The inquest at Winchester heard how trouble broke out as Mr Palmer and his friends John Howett, a convicted drug smuggler, and Juan Campano Arribes, were travelling in a taxi back to Mr Howett's home in Hoe Road, Bishop's Waltham in the early hours.

The three men got out of the vehicle at an industrial estate in Curbridge, there was a fight and Mr Palmer never got back in.

The 37-year-old, who was known to friends as Jon Bon Jovi, was later picked up unconscious from the industrial estate where he was found lying face down in a pool of water, his face covered in blood.

Coroner Grahame Short told how there were then two versions of what happened.

The first was that Mr Palmer was picked up in another vehicle and was dead on arrival at Mr Howett's house. His body was disposed of the following day.

The second version of events was that he made a recovery back at Mr Howett's house and that he left on a train to Newcastle a short time later and has never been seen since.

Recording an open verdict Mr Short said it was clear that a number of witnesses who had given statements to police had not given true accounts of what happened because "they did not want to be held responsible for their actions."

Nobody has every been charged over the death of Mr Palmer. Files were passed to the Crown Prosecution Service on two occasions but they ruled there was insufficient evidence for a prosecution.