‘Life and soul’ Eastbourne man chokes to death

Emergency services were called to the scene
Emergency services were called to the scene

A ‘miracle’ schizophrenic man from Eastbourne most likely died from choking on his roast dinner, an inquest at Eastbourne heard yesterday (Thursday).

Jason Massey, 47, was found dead on April 15 after workers at Duffield Court assisted living service in Lascelles Terrace discovered his body on the floor of his bedroom.

Kirsty Beale, lead practitioner at the care home, said, “Jason struggled with eating due to his false teeth.

“The last time I would have seen him would have been on Sunday (April 14) at 5.30pm. He was preparing a roast dinner but he would normally eat it later in his room.”

The inquest heard two members of staff tried to enter Mr Massey’s room the next morning but they saw him lying on the floor blocking the door. They did not attempt CPR.

Ms Beale, who was not there at the time, said, “I think they both panicked. I asked one of them to call an ambulance and then I rushed straight there. He was completely cold when I got there.”

The inquest heard how paramedics said Mr Massey could have been dead for hours before they arrived.

Ms Beale said Mr Massey, who was diagnosed with schizophrenia in 2003, was left with false teeth after a failed suicide attempt. However, she said he saw life in a different, positive way after the attempt.

She said, “He used to class himself as a miracle. He was such a character. He was the life and soul.”

Family members said Mr Massey was “a happy go lucky man” and a “character”.

Pathologist Dr Catherine Guy concluded in her post-mortem examination the cause of Mr Massey’s death was by choking.

Coroner Chris Wilkinson said, “At some point Jason has sadly died. He has failed to swallow, sadly and traumatically he has died as a result.”

The coroner concluded Mr Massey’s death was accidental.