A fiancee paid tribute to her ‘big friendly giant’ at the inquest into the death of a 23-year-old body builder yesterday.
Lewis Allan, of Bridgemere Road, died at Eastbourne DGH on October 10, 2011 and an inquest into his death was held at the town’s magistrates court.
Coroner Alan Craze was told by many witnesses that Mr Allan was keen to improve his muscles and had injected performance enhancing steroids in the past.
However, evidence at the inquest suggested he had given up the drugs shortly before his death and there were no traces in his blood.
Pathologist Jane Mercer carried out the post mortem and said Mr Allan had died from heart failure due to drug side effects.
But fiancee Sophie Davies, who had been in a relationship with him for five years, said she did not want him labelled a ‘hardened drug user’.
In a statement read at the inquest, she said, “While training he was offered steroids and he chose to try them because he cared about his appearance.
“He took the steroids for a few months and then threw them away.”
Sophie said the toxicology results showed he had not taken the drugs recently and she added, “I never doubted him.”
Mr Craze was told Sophie had found the syringes in the flat they shared together. She said she became concerned when he started to sweat more and she encouraged him to stop taking them and concentrate on gym and diet to increase his muscle tone.
Sophie, who was due to marry Mr Allan in 2013, described him as affectionate with a great sense of humour and added, “2011 had been such a great year for us and our hopes and dreams shattered on October 10.”
It was in the early hours of the morning that Sophie woke up and realised there was something wrong with Mr Allan. She woke his parents and brother. The family called an ambulance and tried to resuscitate Mr Allan.
He was taken to the DGH by ambulance but despite further efforts at the hospital he was unable to be revived.
Detective Sergeant Gavin Patch investigated the case.
He said an arrest had been made and drugs seized from the person believed to have supplied the steroids.
Mr Craze said Mr Allan would never fall in to the bracket of a ‘hardened drugs user’ but explained his job was to highlight the dangers of taking steroids.
He said, “On the balance of probabilities, the use of these substances may have brought about his death. There is not sufficient evidence for this to be a drugs death.”
He recorded a verdict of natural causes.
Mr Craze said, “This has been a difficult and very, very tragic inquest.
“This death just shouldn’t of happened and I’m very sorry you are left with the aftermath of it all.”