Booze led to death

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News

AN INQUEST has ruled out a link between a hammer attack and the death of a 40-year-old Killamarsh man with alcohol problems.

Chesterfield coroner’s court heard on Monday how welder Lawrence Allen, of Norburn Drive, had 18 stitches in a head wound following an assault in June.

Five weeks later he collapsed in a friend’s garden, apparently hallucinating, and was taken to Chesterfield Royal Hospital where he died the following day.

But the inquest was told that Mr Allen’s death stemmed from a chronic liver problem.

Pathologist Dr Andrew Hitchcock said: “I was given information that he was an alcohol user of some repute. His liver was severely damaged by alcohol.

“He had no alcohol in his system at the time. Alcohol withdrawal is dangerous and I suspect that the hallucinating was related to this.”

He gave the cause of death as alcohol-induced liver disease. He added: “The liver basically packed up and all his other organs suffered for it.”

Post-mortem tests revealed divorced Mr Allen had taken anti-depressants at normal dosage and a small level of amphetamine was also found.

Relatives told the inquest Mr Allen was alcohol dependant in 2000 and stayed off drink for eight years but he had been drinking cheap cider excessively since 2008.

His family said he was an alcoholic and was aware of the dangers of suddenly stopping drinking instead of gradually reducing his consumption.

Deputy North Derbyshire Coroner Nigel Anderson said there was no evidence to connect Mr Allen’s death to his serious head injury. Mr Anderson recorded a verdict of death by natural causes and said chronic liver disease was “like a ticking time-bomb”.