West Sussex senior coroner Penelope Schofield recorded a verdictthat he took his own life after hearing Tariq Javid had also cut himself on the neck with a knife and had levels of codeine and paracetamol that exceeded the therapeutic range.
No family members attended the short inquest but the coroner commented they were aware of the hearing and would be provided with the summary.
The court heard supermarket chain boss Tariq, 51, left his home in Horsham while his partner of 15 years Sylvia was out shopping on July 29 this year.
Crawley Coroner’s Court heard he left two identical letters that said he would ‘not last long’ due to stomach problems.
Tariq booked himself into the luxury South Lodge Hotel in Lower Beeding, West sussex, and binged on whisky and wine in his room and at the hotel bar.
When his wife returned home and found the notes, she tried to call the hotel room.
When there was no response she attended the country house and was assisted by a hotel manager who used a master key to let themselves in.
The coroner heard Tariq was found face down covering the drain of the shower. A kitchen knife was also found in the shower and Tariq had several injuries to his neck.
It was said Tariq had significant levels of codeine in his system and suffered from serious heart disease.
He had previously suffered from back and leg pain, which he took codeine for. But the inquest heard he had been ‘relatively pain free’ over the last year.
In June, the month prior to Tariq’s death, the inquest heard he had been signed off from work due to stress and anxiety.
He was also suffering from stomach problems that were said to be ‘under investigation’ by hospital doctors.
Coroner’s officer John Halloran said: “On July 29 he told Sylvia to go shopping. She left around 11.20am and caught the train to Crawley.
“He said he was going to go to the cinema or the gym.
“Sylvia arrived back at home at 3.45pm and found Mr Javid was not at home but his car was at home.
“She found two identical letters which gave her cause for concern. They appeared to show he was planning to take his own life.
“It said ‘carry on and enjoy life’. It said that with the stomach pain he was suffering from he would not last much longer.
“It gave instructions and said he could be found at the South Lodge Hotel.”
Mr Halloran added: “He is thought to have consumed one cider, one small glass of wine and four straight whiskies.
“A 70cl bottle of whisky was found in the room.”
A toxicology report found that Mr Javid had 419mg of ethanol per 100ml of blood, and codeine in the blood, which exceeded the ‘therapeutic range’ and was consistent with moderate toxicity.
In addition, paracetamol was found in the blood which also exceeded the amount found when the painkiller is used therapeutically.
A post-mortem examination gave Tariq’s cause of death as drowning, ethanol toxicity, heart disease and codeine toxicity.
It was said that Tariq would have become incapacitated in the shower and this is what would have led him to collapse and drown, as his mouth and nose were face-down in the water.
Ms Schofield said: “The knife that he had taken to the hotel was also in the shower and Mr Javid had clear cuts to his neck.
“They were not themselves deep enough to have caused his death, it is likely together with large amounts of alcohol consumed incapacitated him which resulted in him becoming face down in the shower.
“As a result of that incapacitation he then drowned.
“Drowning may not have been the method he was proposing for his death but I’m satisfied his action of taking a knife into the shower and cutting his neck in this way, having drunk considerable amounts of alcohol in a very short space of time clearly shows to me in entering the shower Tariq intended to end his own life.
“This is supported by the fact there were notes left indicating a suicidal ideation.”
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