Inquests into deaths of rugby players in Sri Lanka are set to conclude today

Inquests into the deaths of two Durham rugby players during a tour of Sri Lanka are set to conclude.

Thursday, 3rd October 2019, 6:00 am
Tom Baty, left, and Thomas Howard. The rugby players died in Sri Lanka last year.

Thomas Andrew Howard, 25, and Thomas Reed Baty, 26, known as Tom, were both found suffering from serious respiratory failure in their hotel rooms on May 13 last year after a Saturday night out in capital city Colombo.

The pair were visiting the country as part of a team called Clem Pirates linked to Durham City rugby club.

Thomas Howard

The touring party were playing rugby matches and carrying out charity work.

Inquests into their deaths opened last year at County Durham and Darlington Coroners’ Court and heard that players visited a nightclub called Cleopatras after one game before returning to their hotel between 2am-3am.

The cases, which are due to resume on Thursday, October 3, were then adjourned as police in this country had requested further evidence from the authorities in Sri Lanka.

This included witness statements, CCTV, photographs and transcripts of interviews.

Thomas Baty.

Durham City RFC president Richard Wilkinson said at the time that the pair “hold a special place in our rugby family” and added: "On behalf of all members and friends of the DCRFC family we would like to extend our sincere condolences to the families of Thomas Howard and Tom Baty."