HAILSHAM: Inquest rules kitchen porter died of an epileptic fit

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A KITCHEN porter from Hellingly died of an epileptic fit while in his pyjamas at home, an inquest ruled.

Clive Merritt, who took a number of drugs to control his epilepsy, was found dead in a chair at his home in New Road on January 19.

Pathologist Dr Hassan El Teraifi said Mr Merritt had bitten into his tongue which led him to believe he had died of an epileptic fit.

He said, “People are usually given one type of drug to control their epilepsy, but it seems to me he has been having a severe type of epilepsy that needs to be controlled by all these medications.”

Although Mr Merritt, of New Road, had tried to take his life twice before, coroner Alan Craze said there was no evidence of suicide and ruled at the Eastbourne Magistrates’ Court inquest that he died of natural causes.

In a statement read out in court, his brother Keith Merritt - a postman from Chatham - said, “There’s no way Clive would have taken his own life. We had lots of things planned for the future.”

Chris Merritt had spent Christmas with his twin brother and his wife at their home in Chatham.

They took him back to Hellingly on December 28 and he was found dead by a group of neighbours and employers at his home a few weeks later.

Mr Craze said, “I am totally certain he has died of natural causes. On the balance of probability he died of an epileptic fit.”