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Retired postman 'could have cycled to his death in his sleep'

Sleepwalker went missing in the middle of the night... taking his bike and helmet with him

A retired postman who drowned in a river may have cycled to his death in his sleep, an inquest has heard.

John Patrick Sullivan, 66, of Abergavenny, was found missing from his bed in the early hours of February 22nd.

His wife, searching the house, found that his bicycle and helmet were missing.

Rose Sullivan said her husband of 39 years was prone to sleepwalking and was occasionally found outside the house in the night with no memory of going there.

After noticing that the bike and helmet were missing, but the florescent jacket was still hung up, Mrs Sullivan decided to take the route her husband would usually travel on his bike.

When she couldn’t find him, she called the police.

Mrs Sullivan told the court, according to the South Wales Argus: "I believe John had one of his episodes."

She said her husband "wasn't dressed appropriately for a bike ride at that time of the morning".

The bike and helmet were found on the banks of the River Usk by a dog walker, and a search of the area discovered the body of Mr Sullivan 300 yards downstream. He had drowned.

Coroner David T Bowen returned an open verdict. He said no other conclusion could be made as there was "no evidence" to the circumstance in which Mr Sullivan entered the water.

After an unpromising start, having to be bribed by her parents to learn to ride without stabilisers, Sarah became rather keener on cycling in her university years, and was eventually persuaded to upgrade to proper road cycling by the prospect of a shiny red Italian bike, which she promptly destroyed by trapping a pair of knickers in the rear derailleur. Sarah writes about about cycling every weekend on road.cc.

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