AN alcoholic died with almost unprecedented levels of alcohol in his blood.
Benjamin Mills’s body was found by his father at his Avondale Road flat on January 30 this year.
Subsequent tests revealed the 30-year-old had 671 micrograms of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood.
The reading in his urine was even higher, registering 763 micrograms.
And, speaking at Mr Mills’s inquest last week, East Sussex Coroner Alan Craze described the levels of alcohol present as ‘massive’.
Mr Craze said, “To get to this level he must have had a huge tolerance to alcohol otherwise he would have died before getting there.
“The reading is one of the highest I have ever seen.”
Mr Mills, who was born in Lambeth, London, had been to hospital 50 times for alcohol-related problems in the last year of his life but had appeared to be winning his battle against alcoholism after staying dry throughout the Christmas period.
But his father Raymond Mills said that he had told him on January 25 that he needed a drink.
He also revealed that one visit to his flat he had found his son in a bad way, fishing around near empty bottles and cans for drops of alcohol.
“It was such a sad sight to see my son in such a state that he was trying to get the dregs out of other people’s empties,” he said.
And he said that on the day he found him he didn’t realise he was dead.
“I couldn’t work out where he got so much alcohol to have what was found in him, because he had no money to buy any,” Mr Mills senior told the inquest.
Sharon Blight, who worked with Mr Mills junior as part of the Action for Change support group, said, “When he did drink he would drink a bottle of vodka in one go.”
Mr Mills senior took the chance to voice concerns that he believed his son had “fallen between two stalls” in that the mental health issues which he says fuelled his alcoholism had not been addressed sufficiently because he was still drinking.
He added that his son had turned to drink to deal with anxiety issues.
The coroner sympathised, but said, “When there is binge drinking going on it is difficult to tackle anxiety.
“Nobody knows where the line is but somewhere people cross a line which means they will always be recovering alcoholics. He had crossed that line big time.”
Mr Craze recorded a verdict of death by alcoholism.