Drugs man died while waiting for sentence

Eastbourne Town Hall
Eastbourne Town Hall

A man convicted of conspiracy to supply heroin in Eastbourne and Brighton died of natural causes while waiting to be jailed, an inquest heard today (Thursday).

Lee Mack, 50, had ‘severe liver disease’ including cancer in his liver and his health ‘gradually deteriorated’, the court in Eastbourne Town Hall heard.

He was part of a drug dealing gang jailed earlier this year for a multi-million pound conspiracy to supply drugs from Liverpool to Brighton and Eastbourne.

Mr Mack was among three defendants who pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply heroin but died of natural causes prior to sentencing – the others were Kingsley Walls, 44, of Brighton, and Andrew Antoniou, 58, also of Brighton.

An inquest was opened into his death when it was believed he died while in police custody, the court heard.

But, the inquest was reopened today after it was subsequently found he had been bailed on March 15 this year.

Mr Mack spent his last days in Kings College Hospital, London, after suffering from Hepatitis C and B – possibly, the inquest heard due to having non-professional tattoos as a teenager and drug use at the age of 17.

A report into Mr Mack’s death by consultant hepatologist Dr Michael Heneghan said he had severe liver disease including cancer in his liver, and was not a candidate for a transplant.

He died on April 4 this year from natural causes, the report found. Deputy coroner Kate Palmer said to Mr Mack’s family, “The evidence seems very clear, it was established sadly he wasn’t a candidate for a liver transplant.

“He had very severe liver disease including cancer in his liver. He gradually deteriorated.

“I accept the cause of death that has been given. I can say your father died from natural causes.”