‘Charming and flamboyant’ Worthing hotel employee took his own life

A night porter at a Worthing hotel, who was described as the ‘life and soul’ of his workplace, took his own life, an inquest has found.

Alex Byworth was discovered dead at his flat in Rowlands Road, Worthing, on Wednesday, November 7.

Kerry Kent, his manager at the Burlington hotel in Marine Parade, described him as ‘charming, flamboyant and opinionated’ and ‘the life and soul’ of the workplace.

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In a statement read at his inquest at Crawley Coroner’s Court yesterday (Tuesday, March 5), she said the 46-year-old had worked the Monday to Tuesday night shift the week of his death.

The inquest was held at Centenary House in Crawley. Photo: Google Street View

At the handover on Tuesday he seemed ‘tired and not himself’ and when he did not turn up for his shift on Tuesday night, Ms Kent said she had a ‘gut feeling something was wrong’.

On Wednesday, she and a colleague went to his flat to check on his welfare, but he was sadly found dead, the court heard.

In a statement, Mr Byworth’s mother said he was a ‘lovely child’ who had gone to catering college before working in Bristol, London and Birmingham

She said the last time she had spoken to him he was fine and said his death was ‘a tremendous shock to his family and to everyone who knew him’.

A post-mortem examination held at Worthing Hospital found the cause of his death to be hanging, the court heard.

A toxicology report detected levels of alcohol at a ‘mid to moderate’ level in his blood, along with evidence of the recreational use of cocaine, the court heard.

However, assistant coroner Chris Wilkinson said neither were at a level that would have significantly impaired or affected his mental state.

Mr Wilkinson said there was nothing ‘out of kilter’ in relation to how Mr Byworth was in the days leading up to his death.

There was no suicide note at the scene and nothing on his social media feeds or in his medical history that gave cause for concern, he said.

Mr Wilkinson said: “There is no clear evidence definitively as to his state of mind.

“It is unlikely we will ever fully understand what was going through his mind and what he was feeling.”

However he said Mr Byworth had carried out ‘clear and deliberate act of self harm’ and concluded that he had taken his own life.

If you are affected by any issues raised in this story, contact The Samaritans for confidential support on 116 123.