Tributes paid after sudden death of 55-year-old Eastbourne man

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Warm tributes have been paid to an Eastbourne man who died suddenly at home.

Warm tributes have been paid to an Eastbourne man who died suddenly at home.

William Fraser McCormick, known as Fraser, was known for his ‘wicked sense of humour’ and ‘generous’ personality.

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Mr McCormick was found dead at his home on January 7 2020 in Caroline Way after water was reported to have been coming from the flat.

An inquest at Eastbourne Town Hall on Thursday (October 22), heard Mr McCormick, an air steward, had high levels of alcohol and sleeping tablets in his system.

Judith Wood, Mr McCormick’s sister, said how they were ‘very close’ and stayed in regular contact.

She said, “He was a very warm person. He was kind and thoughtful, he would help anyone if they needed it.”

Ms Wood last saw her brother just before Christmas 2019.

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She said, “We had a great weekend together, I didn’t detect any issues from Fraser, he was his lovely jovial self at Christmas.

“It was a very happy time with a lot of laughter.”

Barry Kerwick was friends with Mr McCormick for more than 23 years.

He said, “He was a very happy person with a wicked sense of humour, he was able to talk to anyone in any situation.

“He was a loving and generous person.”

Mr McCormick had returned from New York for work on January 3, and told Mr Kerwick he was feeling jet lagged, an inquest heard.

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Mr Kerwick said how it was a ‘known trait’ for Mr McCormick to use sleeping tablets after a long haul flight in order to relax and try to get back into a regular routine.

Mr Kerwick said he had arranged to catch up with Mr McCormick later in the week.

Ms Wood said, “He had so much planned, he was in extremely good spirits.”

DS Ross Bartlett said Mr McCormick had not been seen for a number of days upon returning from New York, and water could be heard coming from the flat.

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When police entered the flat on January 7, Mr McCormick was found in the bath, underneath the water.

However, this was not the cause of his death, the inquest heard.

Mr McCormick had previously been admitted to Eastbourne DGH medical care unit for a reported suicide attempt in May 2019, the inquest heard.

The inquest heard his death was due to toxicity of alcohol and sleeping pills.

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There were traces of anti-depressants, but this was at a normal level.

The combination of the alcohol and the sleeping tablets resulted in Mr McCormick’s death.

Both Mr Kerwick and Ms Wood called Mr McCormick’s death a ‘tragic accident’ and thought he may not have realised the effect of combining the two.

East Sussex coroner Alan Craze ruled that Mr McCormick’s death was accidental.