Alcohol addiction proved fatal for heavy drinker found dead in his Basingstoke home (From Andover Advertiser)
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Alcohol addiction proved fatal for heavy drinker found dead in his Basingstoke home
A MAN’S long-time addiction to alcohol proved fatal, an inquest heard.
A paramedic found the decomposed body of James French slumped against a sofa in his house in Morley Road, Cranbourne, Basingstoke on Tuesday, April 16.
Mr French’s sister Jane Rummey had raised the alarm when he did not answer the front door.
The inquest at Alton Magistrates’ Court heard that Mr French, 63, had been dependant on alcohol since 1985, and often drank beer and cheap bottles of whisky.
A post-mortem examination found Mr French died from heart failure, related to alcohol abuse.
His blood contained 343 milligrams of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood – more than four times the legal drink-drive limit.
PC Richard Baldwin, who entered the house after paramedic Matthew Scott had found Mr French, said the front room was littered with bottles and cans of alcohol.
Mrs Rummey said the last time she saw her brother alive was in December last year, when she went to his house after concerns were raised by a neighbour.
She said: “He was under the influence of alcohol but he was standing and talking quite reasonably. He was not well, and could not move his right arm.
“I offered to take him to hospital but he would not do something like that. I was shocked by the state of his house.”
Andrew Bradley, coroner for North East Hampshire, said it was not possible to tell when Mr French died because of the decomposed state of his body.
He added: “The heart has clapped out because of the alcohol. But he certainly would not have suffered.”
The coroner recorded a verdict of death by natural causes.
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