A popular scaffolder who was found dead earlier this year has been described as a loving and caring friend to many.
Forty-five-year-old Stephen Taylor worked for Austin’s and at his funeral earlier this year a scaffold lorry led the funeral procession.
An inquest at Eastbourne on Thursday (October 17) heard Mr Taylor had been out with his fiancee Karen Sims on the night of May 31 and visited pubs including the Arlington Arms, the Crown & Anchor and the Phoenix.
The couple went in separate directions at the end of the evening and Miss Sims returned to their home in Beamsley Road.
She received texts implying he was going to take his own life.
The next morning Mr Taylor was found in the garden shed at Beamsley Road.
Emergency services were called and despite efforts by paramedics who carried out CPR for 20 minutes, Mr Taylor was pronounced dead at the scene.
The inquest heard Mr Taylor had been suffering with long-term chronic back pain that was being treated with medication, which he had taken in the past at the same time as drinking.
A toxicology report showed Mr Taylor was at least three-and-a-half times the legal drink drive limit and he had taken cocaine.
Mr Taylor’s twin brother Simon told the inquest at Eastbourne Town Hall his brother was “funny, had an infectious laugh, was loving and caring”.
He said, “He had a lot of friends. Stephen was happy at the time and enjoyed his new job.”
Ms Sims told the inquest, “He was my entire world. It has left me devastated with so many unanswered questions. We lived as a family and enjoyed being together.
“He proposed to me in our favourite restaurant in Mexico. He would do anything for anyone. He was a hard-working man, loved his job. He was well-respected and known for his strong work ethic.”
Coroner Chris Wilkinson said, “I believe he did not intend to take his own life. It was a drunken mistake and he paid the ultimate price.”
The coroner concluded Mr Taylor’s death was accidental.