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Family of tragic Sunderland dad Jay McLaren hope his death will save others

The family of a Sunderland dad whose body was found at a waste recycling plant on Christmas Eve say they hope his death will help to prevent further tragedies.

And a coroner is to raise the issue of locks for large bins in a bid to ensure the same thing does not happen again.

Jay McLaren's family outside the coroner's court

Jay McLaren's family outside the coroner's court

James 'Jay' McLaren's body was discovered at a recycling plant in the Sedgeletch area of Houghton on Christmas Eve last year, almost two days after he disappeared.

Jay, 28, of South View Terrace, Chilton Moor, had been on a night out with team-mates from his Sunday League football team two nights previously when he went missing.

It is believed that workers from Max Recycle emptied a bin which Jay had climbed into their wagon before driving to the recycling centre.

After starting the evening in Deptford, the group moved to Sunderland city centre where they eventually separated.

A fund-raising page set up for Jay McLaren

A fund-raising page set up for Jay McLaren

Jay was seen on CCTV walking in the Park Lane area before walking into the rear lane of Vine Place, from which bins were emptied a short time later by workers.

An inquest hearing into Jay's death began yesterday at Sunderland Coroner's Court.

It heard that police has used the Find My iPhone app to trace Jay's phone to the waste centre after he was reported missing by his brother Kenneth Morley on December 23.

A post-mortem examination carried out by Home Office pathologist Jennifer Bolton found that he had suffered serious internal injuries to his head and his chest.

The family leaves court

The family leaves court

There was however no suggestion that he had been assaulted by another person.

Toxicology reports also found that Jay was three times the drink-drive limit at the time of his death.

Dr Bolton added that, in her opinion, Jay was most likely unconscious when he died.

Assistant coroner Andrew Hetherington today instructed a jury to return a conclusion of 'accident'.

Speaking after the hearing, Mr McLaren's fiancee Kelly-Ann Wilde said: "We have experienced first-hand the impact this type of preventable incident has had not only on us as a family, but to all of those involved.

"Nothing that is said or done will bring James back but we hope that this will send a message out and prevent tragedies of this nature in future."

Mr Hetherington said he would be raising the issue of whether such large bins should have locks to prevent people climbing into them.

"I am vexed by the issue of the bins and those with lids that can be locked," he said.

"I will be writing to the Trade Waste Association, the local authorities nationally and to the HSE to highlight my concerns.

"I have heard it is not too onerous to lock these bins and it could dissuade people."

Speaking at the hearing, Mr McLaren's step-brother Kenneth Morley thanked the coroner, his team and the police for their help and the jury for 'two days of your life that you will not get back.'

"We really do appreciate it," he said.