‘Talented’ Ashley, 27, died of natural causes

A 27-year-old was found dead in bed by his father, an inquest has heard.

Ashley Cookson, who had been diagnosed with mental health issues including bi-polar disorder, died after breathing i n vomit.

He had not been in contact with family and friends for a few days before being found dead at his flat in Etherton Way in Seaford on September 18 last year.

The inquest heard he had been seeing a consultant psychiatrist and that he had mood swings.

He also took his medication chaotically to the extent that it was decided he would have injections instead.

The hearing heard Ashley, who had acid reflux, also struggled to control urges to binge drink.

At one point he had expressed a will to die and reported taking an overdose, but later on said he was glad he had survived.

He was last seen by his former boyfriend Simon Kelly on the Thursday before he was found.

Ashley had visited Simon at his home in Peacehaven but during the evening he noticed that half a bottle of morphine that he had been given as pain relief following an operation was missing.

He told the inquest, “We went shopping and got wine and I ordered takeaway for us.

“He was feeling a little woozy so I said ‘go and lie down’.

“He said he loved me and would not be here if it wasn’t for me.

“He got a bit loud and I told him to go home and he would not go.

“I went into the bedroom and I noticed the morphine on the side.

“He was on my bed and awake and conscious.”

Mr Kelly then called the police and told them about the missing morphine.

During the call, which was made at about 10.40pm, Ashley left.

Days later his concerned family went to his home and his father Anthony Cookson found Ashley dead in his bed.

Vomit was found in the bath. No suicide note was found and the inquest heard a garbled text message had been sent to a friend shortly after midnight on Friday September 14.

In a statement read out on his behalf, he explained that his son was talented when it came to computers and that he would come over to the family home in Peacehaven on a daily basis.

The statement added, “Our family was close and did as much as we could to help him.

“His death has left a hole in our life and we’re finding it difficult to adjust to life without him around. His absence shows up so much.”

A statement read on behalf of GP Daniel Elliott said he was surprised to learn of Ashley’s death as in the months leading up to his death he had been doing well.

A post mortem examination showed a trace of an opiate found to be morphine and the inquest heard that it would not have been present in excessive amounts at the time of his death.

Detective Sergeant David Tye told the inquest he was satisfied there were no suspicious circumstances to his death.

Coroner Alan Craze recorded a verdict of death by natural causes, and said there were some unanswered questions.

He added, “He’s simply been sick and it’s gone down the wrong way.

“I’ve got clear and strong evidence from a pathologist that he died of the effects of inhaling stomach contents.

“I think he has died fairly quickly.His death would have been an enormous shock, it wasn’t expected.”