A bang to the head and alcohol played a part in the "strange" death of a man whose body was discovered standing upright in his kitchen. Andrew Evans, of Orchard Road in East Grinstead,, West Sussex, was discovered by a friend with his right hand in a cupboard. An inquest into the 35-year-old's death heard last Wednesday that the friend called out to him when he entered the kitchen, as he did not initially realise he was dead.
It is believed Mr Evans had banged his head somewhere in the house, causing him to bleed heavily, and because of his intoxicated state had not realised how serious the injury was. He then blacked out in the kitchen, while apparently reaching into the cupboard, and slumped against a kitchen surface, which pushed his lungs upwards, eventually suffocating him. Coroner Dr David Skipp recorded a verdict of accidental death at the inquest at Horsham Magistrates' Court.
He said: "It is unusual for a man whose alcohol levels were high to be found stood against a work surface. He obviously did not try to get out of the flat [after banging his head] and the evidence suggests he was not bothered by what was going on. It is bizarre." The friend, who found Mr Evans on May 10 this year, called for an ambulance when he found the situation was serious but there was nothing paramedics could do. Dr Skipp said that the death was "strange" but that he had died from asphyxiation of the lungs. He cited blood loss and alcohol consumption as contributing factors.
A police investigation launched in the aftermath of Mr Evans' death revealed no foul play with there being no reason to suspect he was placed in the peculiar position he was found in. A postmortem examination at East Surrey Hospital on May 11 revealed Mr Evans had been almost four times the legal drink-drive limit when he died. Coroner's officer Geoff Charnock said: "Mr Evans' chronic alcohol abuse meant his blood would have been thin and the head injury would have bled substantially. There was no sign of ransack at the home and no splatter of blood. The door was closed and any damage to it was from previous incidents."