Lewes chef’s death was unintentional says coroner

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A 27-year-old chef and father of three found dead in Newhaven did not intend to take his own life, a coroner concluded yesterday (Thursday November 9).

Kingsley Heath, of Meridian Road in Lewes, died on March 25 at the Premier Inn hotel with alcohol, cocaine and several other forms of medication in his bloodstream, the court heard.

Coroner Alan Craze said he believed Mr Heath had taken the lethal combination of substances ‘with intentions other than ending his life’.

The eldest of six children, Mr Heath had struggled with depression, anger issues and alcohol abuse as well as suicidal feelings, the inquest heard.

He had sought help for these issues - primarily his drinking - and had been sober since August 2016, though had begun drinking again in the weeks before his death, the coroner said.

The chef had taken one intentional overdose in September 2015, though the coroner said he understood Mr Heath had no suicidal intentions and had taken the pills to deal with his insomnia.

He had also told his doctor, family members and friends on various occasions he did not intend to kill himself as he wouldn’t want to hurt his family, the court heard.

Mr Heath’s mother Caroline Lipscombe and his step-father Kevin Lipscombe said they had been ‘horrified’ to discover the quantity of medication doctors had prescribed for their son.

The court also heard Mr Heath has been using anabolic steroids for muscle building but had stopped as they were negatively affecting his mood.

The coroner reached a conclusion of ‘accidental death or misadventure’, saying he believed Mr Heath had not intended to take his own life.

Coroner Craze raised the question of whether mental health services and substance abuse services should work more closely to avoid deaths similar to Mr Heath’s in future.

Mr Heath, who leaves behind three children under five years old, was described at the inquest by a friend as ‘one of the nicest, kindest people I have ever met’.

In a statement Mr Heath’s mother Mrs Lipscombe said: “We are a close-knit family. Kingsley was my rock as I was to him.

“I will miss our chats and banter, the way he entered our home and filled the air with laughter.

“He was very protective, he loved being a father and was the best son, brother, uncle and father he could be.”