Lecturer died after having one too many

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A LECTURER with a major drink problem died after having ‘one too many’, an inquest was told.

John Walker, aged 45, died at his grandmother’s home on Westhorpe Road, Killamarsh, on January 15.

Resuscitation was attempted without success.

A post-mortem sample revealed 415mgs of alcohol in 100mls of blood – equivalent to more than five times the legal limit for motorists.

“This is a very high level,” said pathologist Dr Chris Stonard.

“It is associated with fatal alcohol toxicity,”.

The Chesterfield inquest heard Mr Walker had been undergoing a home detoxification programme in a bid to overcome alcoholism.

He was taking a detox drug called chlordiazepoxide, and diazepam to combat the onset of seizures.

A GP report stated that Mr Walker had a row at a Jobcentre two days before his death. He went straight to a pub and had a fit after drinking.

His brother, David Walker, said: “On the day he died he may have fallen off the wagon. He was going through detox for 10 or 12 days and he probably drank similar to what he did in the past on many occasions.”

His brother Richard Walker said: “Supported detox at home was inappropriate as he was prone to alcohol-withdrawal seizures. He was living with my grandmother who is registered blind and hard of hearing.”

The deceased’s partner, Lynn Edwards, said: “If he had been in a hospital situation this may not have happened.”

She also voiced concern about delays in GPs prescribing medication, saying they seemed unable to do so without it being recommended by the local alcohol team.

Dr Stonard said the extremely high alcohol level was fatal in itself.

It would depress the respiratory system which may have been compounded by taking the detox drug.

He added that the tolerance to alcohol Mr Walker had built up by regular heavy drinking would have reduced during any period of abstinence or reduced alcohol intake while undergoing detox.

Deputy North Derbyshire Coroner Nigel Anderson recorded a verdict of accidental death on Mr Walker, of Ridgeway, Clowne.

“On that day I think he went beyond the tipping point,” he said.

“Perhaps he had one drink too many and it tipped him over.”