A 24-year-old Warsop chef who died following a fall was believed to have suffered an abnormal heart rhythm, an inquest was told last Wednesday.
The fall took place after Luke Lee had been into Chesterfield for a night out with Craig Judson, landlord of the Old Pump pub-restaurant at Barlow, where he worked.
They were given a lift home at 3am on 29th August and had picked up take-away food to eat back at the pub, where Mr Lee used an upstairs flat when he was working.
Mr Judson told the Chesterfield inquest he went into the kitchen to fetch some cutlery and, on his return, found the door was jammed shut.
He used a different exit and found Mr Lee collapsed behind the door, at the foot of a staircase. He threw some water on his face in a bid to rouse him and, noticing his lips were turning blue, called emergency services.
“I panicked. He was getting bluer and bluer. I tried doing mouth to mouth but the air just came straight back out.
“He was still breathing and murmuring. Then the ambulance came and I thought he would be okay,” said Mr Judson.
But Mr Lee died at the scene. An autopsy gave the main cause as asphyxia following concussion from the fall.
Post-mortem tests revealed he had drunk more than two and a half times the limit for motorists and pathologist Dr Donesh Taraaporewalla initially considered intoxication to be a factor in the fall.
But examination of the heart by a specialist found defects that could cause sudden collapse from an abnormal heart rhythm.
North Derbyshire Coroner Dr Robert Hunter said the heart was analysed because of a history of heart disease in Mr Lee’s family.
“I don’t feel alcohol played any significant part in Luke’s death. We now know there were structural abnormalities to the heart and, on balance, I think he had an arthymia that caused him to collapse,” said Dr Hunter.
The staircase had a newly-fitted carpet with no ‘trip hazards’. Mr Lee was found within a confined space and his head and neck were in a position that had obstructed his airway, added the coroner.
He recorded a verdict of death from natural causes on Mr Lee, a single man, of Fell Wilson Grove, Warsop.