Recovering alcoholic found dead had fallen off the wagon

A MAN found dead in his Eastbourne flat was a recovering alcoholic who had fallen off the wagon and taken too many painkillers, an inquest heard.

Forty-three-year-old Duncan Brown was found in his Old Orchard Road flat by his mother Patricia in August last year.

But an inquest at Eastbourne on Thursday heard it was not clear whether Mr Brown had taken too many tablets by accident or intended to take his own life and an open verdict was recorded.

Coroner Alan Craze was told Mr Brown had returned to his Eastbourne home in 2011 after a spell in rehab but had started drinking again in the weeks leading up to his death.

His brother Stuart Brown said his brother had suffered from alcohol misuse over a number of years and was seeing the team at Action for Change to address his issues.

“He had been fighting this disease for 15 years or so,” said Mr Brown, of Church Street, Willingdon.

“I suspected he had fallen off the wagon. When I cleaned out his flat I found a bin full of empty bottles. There was no suicide note.”

Mr Brown said he was expecting his brother for lunch but when he failed to show his mother called at his home and found him dead on his bedroom floor.

Mrs Brown called the police and PC Richard Davidson was the first officer at the scene.

The police officer said Mr Brown was lying on the floor by his bed.

A report read to the inquest by toxicologist Andrew Smith revealed Mr Brown had taken four times the recommended medicinal level of painkillers and pathologist Dr Hassan El Teraifi said there was alcohol in Mr Brown’s blood.

Recording an open verdict, Mr Craze said Mr Brown died due to a lethal mix of drink and drugs.

“There is insufficient evidence to say whether this was a deliberate overdose or an accidental one,” said Mr Craze.