Coroner reached wrong verdict on Stephen Bennett says sister
The sister of Stephen Bennett, who was found hanged from a mango tree in India, says a verdict of unlawful killing should have been delivered.
Gloucestershire coroner Alan Crickmore recorded an open verdict at Wednesday's inquest at Shire Hall, which means the circumstances surrounding the 40-year-old's death in December 2006 remain unresolved.
The former actor from Cheltenham phoned his family in the hours before he died, saying he feared for his safety.
He was later found in jungle near the town of Roha.
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His sister Amanda, who has campaigned to find out the truth, visiting India to talk to locals and officials, says anyone with "common sense" would conclude it was unlawful.
She does not accept that Stephen might have killed himself, believing instead that gangsters in the region ordered his death as a warning to two other men who owed a drug debt of more than £40,000.
"It's very hard to say how I feel right now," she said.
"It's been very difficult because there was no co-operation from the Indian police."
Amanda was not in court to hear the verdict because she was too emotional.
"I've had to detach myself in many ways to get to the bottom of all this, but it's still very upsetting because I don't want to remember him for the way he died.
"It's hard to detach your memory of that person from the memory of what happened," she said.
"It's exactly what the McCann family must do when they talk about their daughter Madeleine."
Six men have been arrested in India on suspicion of murder and are due to stand trial, but Amanda holds out no hope it will ever go ahead.
"The bureaucracy in both countries has been unbelievable," she said.
"The British authorities weren't the crack team I expected them to be, while corruption in India is endemic.
"When you first hear what's happened, massive adrenalin kicks in and then shock. You don't know what to believe, but then you talk to the police and other people and you gradually piece together the real events. There's no doubt in my mind that Stephen was murdered."
Stephen would have been 42 next week.