Overdose news shocked family

A HANDYMAN ‘who had everything’ died after taking a heroin, an inquest heard.

Family and friends of Christopher Vincent, who was due to get married, told of their surprise after learning he had overdosed on the Class A drug.

The 44-year-old, who was found dead by neighbour and close friend Kevin McNeill on October 30 last year, had a level of heroin in his body consistent with severe toxicity.

A post mortem gave the cause of death as a heroin overdose.

The inquest heard that the handyman, who had his own business, had previously had drug problems but the last time he had been in rehabilitation was back in 2005.

Mr McNeill described his neighbour as someone that ‘everyone loved’.

He said Mr Vincent’s partner had gone away to London and it was not uncommon for him to stay up during the night and then sleep in the day while she was away.

He called around on the afternoon of Saturday, October 30, because he thought it was unusual that Mr Vincent had not let his dog outside.

He let himself in with the keys he had and found the Langney Green resident sitting in the armchair. An ambulance was called to the scene.

Mr McNeill added, “I was extremely surprised when I found out the circumstances of his death.

“He had everything, had built his business up. He was as happy as anyone could be.

“He was getting married. It’s totally out of character. I couldn’t believe it, no-one could.”

His father George Vincent told the inquest that he did not believe his son was taking drugs since 2005.

Another neighbour said that he saw the Eastbourne resident in his work van the day before he was found dead and said he looked ‘racked with pain’ and couldn’t move.

The inquest heard he had hip problems but had not had an operation because he was told he would not be able to lift weights and it was believed he was concerned how this would affect his business.

Mention of whether he had taken the drug to ease the pain was discussed at the hearing.

A statement on behalf of workmate Jeffrey Sage explained how he had seen Mr Vincent the day before his body was discovered and he had seemed his usual chatty self.

He was expecting his friend to pick him up for work the next day and said he had been surprised by the circumstances of his death.

Detective Sergeant Andrew Harbour, from Hailsham, said there were no signs of any third party involvement.

Recording a verdict of non-dependant abuse of drugs, deputy coroner Joanna Pratt, said, “It’s almost certainly a case of a one-off and his tolerance would have been extremely low.”