Man dies from alcohol poisoning after heavy drinking at home

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A MAN died after drinking so much his blood alcohol level was more than five times the legal limit for driving.

Frank Leadbitter, 46, was found collapsed in his sitting room at home in Christchurch Place, Peterlee, an inquest heard.

Detective Sergeant Joanne Long of Durham Police told the hearing at the Coroners’ Court in Crook she was called to the house in the early hours of July 8.

“Concerns had been raised by members of his family,” said Det Sgt Long. “Inquiries found Mr Leadbitter had existing alcohol issues. There was evidence of drinking in the house, including empty alcohol containers and drinking vessels.

“Mr Leadbitter had been in company for part of the day, but there is no evidence of any third party involvement in his death or suspicious circumstances.”

A post mortem examination found Mr Leadbitter died from acute alcohol intoxication.

Durham Coroner Andrew Tweddle said: “He had been drinking very heavily. His blood alcohol level was 419, to put that into context the legal limit for driving is 80.

“The amount of alcohol Frank had taken is, in itself, enough to be fatal, which is what happened here.

“The evidence indicates he intended to drink that day, but there is no evidence he intended to harm himself.

“The only appropriate verdict is misadventure, that is Frank’s death was the unintended consequence of a deliberate act.”

Verdict: misadventure.