20-pint drink binge led to Hartlepool man’s death

Coroner Malcolm Donnelly.
Coroner Malcolm Donnelly.

A heavy drinker was found dead with significantly more alcohol in his system than is often fatal, an inquest heard.

Kenneth Roberts drank about 20 pints in the Haverton Hill pub before being taken home by a friend, an inquest at Hartlepool Magistrates’ Court heard.

In a statement read to the inquest, Mr Roberts’ friend John Beadle said: “I took him home, when he reached his door he said he was fine and I should get myself away.

“The next evening I received a call from the landlord of the Haverton Hill to say Kenneth had not been in that day. I went back to his house, the door was unlocked. I went in and found him on the floor of his bedroom.”

The inquest heard Mr Beadle called an ambulance.

Mr Roberts, 52, of The Drive, Greatham, was pronounced dead by a paramedic on September 25.

A post-mortem examination found he had a blood alcohol level of 557mg in 100ml of blood, seven times the legal drink driving limit of 80mg. Pathologist Dr Das Gupta said a level of more than 450mg is often fatal. He found the cause of Mr Roberts’ death to be acute alcohol intoxication.

Hartlepool coroner Malcolm Donnelly said: “Mr Roberts was a heavy drinker, but there were times in his life when he did not drink.

“I believe he knew it was not wise to drink so heavily, but he had no intention to harm himself.”

The inquest found Mr Roberts’ death was alcohol-related.