Veteran BBC journalist ‘found dead with partner’ after police smash down door

A veteran BBC journalist and his partner were found dead just yards apart with no injuries, an inquest heard.

John Stevenson, 68, was found on the floor near his bed in Aberdare, Rhondda Cynon Taf, on 12 March 2020, the hearing was told.

Police smashed their way into the property after local nurses were unable to contact the former political correspondent, MailOnline reports.

A post-mortem examination carried out by Dr Stephen Leadbeatter at the University Hospital of Wales in Cardiff led to the provisional cause of death being given as "unascertained", the inquest heard.

He was found alongside his partner, who was also deceased, the coroner heard.

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Mr Stevenson's family has consented to his remains being used for medical research purposes.

The inquest heard that police had not treated the deaths as being suspicious.

Mr Stevenson, who was born in Bangor, had worked as a journalist for over four decades having had his life turned upside down by alcoholism.

Former colleague Garmon Rhys, the head of news and current affairs at BBC Wales, said: “He was an articulate commentator who had a sharp mind and his conversational manner made his reports memorable.

“As we remember John today, we remember an extremely likeable character who was a joy to work with.”

He had at one time wanted to become a Labour MP but felt the pressure as a gay man to “comply”.

He joined the BBC in Cardiff as a researcher but left “under a big black cloud” as he was an alcoholic.

Mr Stevenson recounted a decade he “lost” when he became homeless, losing contact from his family and friends.

The veteran reported described being arrested a turning point, which is when he started fighting his addiction before rejoining the Beeb in 1997.

He worked his way up to become a political correspondent before retiring in 2013.

The coroner adjourned the inquest until January, 2022.

The inquest into his partner's death was not opened at the same time and he was not named.

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