Chichester man killed himself to avoid Isis capture, inquest told

Ryan Lock
Ryan Lock

A ‘brave’ young man from Chichester killed himself to evade capture while fighting in Syria, an inquest heard.

Ryan Lock died in December while fighting for the Kurdish force the YPG against Isis.

The hearing into the death of the 20-year-old, held at Portsmouth Coroner’s Court today, Wednesday August 2, heard Mr Lock killed himself after being surrounded by Isis forces.

He had sustained a serious bullet wound to his thigh which meant he could not move and decided to take his life rather than be captured.

Recording a narrative verdict, coroner David Horsley said: “Looking at all the evidence from a simplistic point of view it would be simple to say that Ryan has taken his own life but it doesn’t allow my conclusion to reflect the whole story.

“He was an ordinary young man who gave up his safe and comfortable life for a cause he believed in passionately.

“He died in battle and was not prepared to let himself be captured by cruel and ruthless people.

“That is a very brave thing to do. He was a very brave young man.”

Ryan’s mum Catherine Lock told the hearing he had said he was going travelling with friends when he left the UK last summer.

It was not until the day after he left that he messaged her to say he was in Syria fighting for the YPG.

In December, his family found out he had died in battle through an Arabic website.

His body was flown back to London Heathrow in February where it was given a guard of honour by Kurdish forces.

Mr Lock attended Warblington School in Havant and worked for his father Jon Plater’s catering company, The Chichester Hog.

Speaking to the Observer in March, Mr Plater said: “We were just completely shocked really – we didn’t have any idea he was going out there at all.

“We obviously tried to persuade him to come back but it was something he really wanted to do.”

He said the family now understood the reasons Ryan went to Syria to fight Isis.

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