Convicted knife killer died in jet ski crash on Caribbean holiday, inquest hears

A convicted knife killer who had ‘turned his life around’ died in a horrific jet ski crash on the first day of a Caribbean holiday, an inquest heard.

Jordan Mayers, 29, was studying business management in an attempt to get his life back on track after he spent years behind bars for the killing of a teenager.

But he suffered a fatal head injury when he crashed into his cousin’s jet ski in Barbados just three days before Christmas

Mayers had been jailed for life after he stabbed Emmanuel Odenewu in the head, neck and chest in a row over drugs at a bus stop in Lewisham, south east London in December 2006. 

Jordan Mayers, 29, suffered a fatal head injury when he crashed into his cousin's jet ski in Barbados while visiting his mother's family just three days before Christmas

Jordan Mayers, 29, suffered a fatal head injury when he crashed into his cousin's jet ski in Barbados while visiting his mother's family just three days before Christmas

Jordan Mayers, 29, suffered a fatal head injury when he crashed into his cousin’s jet ski in Barbados while visiting his mother’s family just three days before Christmas

But Mayers had his sentence cut by two-thirds in 2009 after a Law Lords ruling on the use of anonymous witnesses led to his murder conviction being quashed.

Prosecutors decided not to pursue a re-trial because eyewitnesses were too afraid to give evidence openly against him. Mayers instead pleaded guilty to manslaughter in May 2009 and was jailed for 10 years.

The convicted killer was just one day into a family reunion when he was killed after accidentally colliding with his cousin’s jet ski, Southwark Coroner’s Court heard yesterday.

Coroner Doctor Andrew Harris said the only report of the fatal accident, in December 2016, came from the Royal Barbados Police.

He told the hearing: ‘It says they rented the jet skis for 30 minutes and instructions were given to both of them.

‘Jordan’s cousin, Samuel Joshua, slowed down and Jordan reached him; Samuel was stationary.

‘Given the rainy conditions, Jordan drove the jet ski towards Samuel. but didn’t stop.

‘He collided into the jet ski and was thrown into the water.

‘Samuel Joshua went to his aid and he was assisted by two American tourists – but could not be revived.’

Mayers was jailed for life after he stabbed Emmanuel Odenewu (pictured) in the head, neck and chest in a row over drugs at a bus stop in Lewisham, south east London in December 2006

Mayers was jailed for life after he stabbed Emmanuel Odenewu (pictured) in the head, neck and chest in a row over drugs at a bus stop in Lewisham, south east London in December 2006

Mayers was jailed for life after he stabbed Emmanuel Odenewu (pictured) in the head, neck and chest in a row over drugs at a bus stop in Lewisham, south east London in December 2006

Dr Harris said there were concerns over the rough sea and rain and whether the jet ski vendor, Ricardo Clarke, was licenced. 

He said: ‘We have been trying to find out if the company was licensed. We would normally explore these matters but we do not have the evidence to do that.

‘The full details of the autopsy report were also not disclosed.’

Mayers’ father Winston Trew, who was not on the holiday and is estranged from his son’s mother, told the hearing that he remains ‘cut up’ that there were no lifeguards on duty at tourist spot Welches Beach at the time.

Mr Trew said: ‘I keep on thinking that if there was a lifeguard there then Jordan might have been rescued and survived.

‘The police report doesn’t mention whether there were lifeguards.

‘Jordan wasn’t a risk taker, he was physically fit and a strong swimmer.

‘I want to get closure, I want to know what happened. If he didn’t have the head injury, he might not have drowned.

‘I have to accept the fact that I don’t know the circumstances.’

Dr Harris ruled that Mayers died from a head injury caused by an accident.

He told Mr Trew: ‘I know you have waited two years for this and I’m sorry I couldn’t give you more closure.’

Speaking after the inquest, Mr Trew said his son had turned his life around after being released from jail, and was a ‘good and well loved student’.

Mr Trew said: ‘He swung back from a lot of disasters. He was accused of murder but they realised the other guy attacked him first. He was twice his size and he did what he could.

‘It was a low point in his life. He got 10 years for manslaughter, but we supported him through it.

‘The university knew about it and they supported him. They gave him his diploma, even though he wasn’t there to finish the course.’ 

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