‘Adventurous, out-going’ Eastbourne dad dies from accidental drug overdose

An ‘adventurous’ private jet steward and ‘great’ father-of-two from Eastbourne died after taking a cocktail of drugs.

Thursday, 2nd January 2020, 3:57 pm
Updated Thursday, 2nd January 2020, 4:01 pm

Leigh Lander, 39, was found dead at the Ranworth Hotel in Pevensey Road, where he was living at the time, on August 12 after a night of recreational drug use which included cocaine, codeine, valium and morphine, an inquest at Eastbourne heard today (January 2). He had been suffering from mental health issues.

Mr Lander’s brothers Elliott and Dale said after the inquest, “Leigh was fun, out-going, adventurous, loved to travel and loved being around his children.

“He was a very happy person battling demons. He was a great father, and took losing our parents really hard.

Mr Lander worked as a private jet steward

“Anyone going through any sort of depression they really need to talk to someone, to try to be more open with family or friends, just talk. This should never have happened.”

The mother of Leigh’s children and ex-partner, Kirsty Peyton-Lander, said, “Leigh was always the joker. He was hilarious. He loved films, music, cars and fishing. When he loved something or someone it was passionate, it was everything.”

PC Ross Bartlett told the inquest Leigh had text one of his brothers two days before the incident saying he was ‘very depressed’ and was thinking about ‘ending his life’.

PC Bartlett said, “It was established Leigh was depressed due to the break up of his marriage and that he could not see his children when he wanted to. His cocaine habit and mental health problems led to the loss of his job.”

Mr Lander was found dead at the Ranworth Hotel in Eastbourne

Mr Lander’s GP Dr Debbie Gooderick said in a statement, “I last saw him on January 2, 2019. His dad died and he was the one who found him. His mum had died three weeks before. He felt his anxiety and mood were heightened at that point.”

A toxicology report found Mr Lander died from cocaine and codeine toxicity.

Coroner Alan Craze said, “This is a great tragedy, it’s the only way of looking at it.”

The coroner recorded a conclusion of drug-related death.

If you have been affected by any of the issues raised in this article, the Samaritans may be able to help – the charity’s helpline number is 116 123.