Friends and relatives have rushed to defend a well-loved Mansfield man after an inquest ruled he was killed by drink and drugs.
Friends and relatives have defended a popular Warsop man, after an inquest rules that he most likely died as a result of drink and drugs.
The inquest into the death of Nathan Priest, 28, heard the well-known builder, was found dead in land behind East Street, Warsop on September 16.
Nottingham Coroner’s Service said that blood tests identified he had taken alcohol and cocaine, prior to his death - at a hearing this week.
Whilst they were not at lethal levels, they had likely led to his death, drawing a conclusion by Coroner Heidi Connor of ‘drug related death’.
Previously a post-mortem examination on September 21 gave the cause as “cocaine and alcohol abuse.”
He was also described as a ‘heavy amphetamine user’.
Nathan’s partner Helen Darby said she was shocked by how he was portrayed.
The mum said: “They’re bringing up the past to say it’s down to drugs. It makes you mad that they can portray him like this.
“We are deeply saddened by the report from the inquest and as a family together we know the real Nathan and what a great partner, son, brother and dad he was – and a top friend to many.”
His sister Becky Priest said: “I miss him so much, he was the best ‘uncle Naff’ ever to my kids.”
Family friend Yvonne Brazier said: “Nathan was there for everyone he wouldn’t hurt a fly. He had a heart of gold and went round the village if any one needed help he was the first on hand.
“He loved his Mrs and his children – they were his whole world.”
His aunt Sharon Taylor said: “I am fuming at what has been said about my nephew. God knows who's where they got this information from, what a load of lies. Nathan was a hardworking family man who adored his partner Helen and his beautiful children. He was so happy with life he was full.
“Nathan was loved by all his family and friends – he had so many. Nathan did not do any of this. One day it will come out.”
Nathan had a large amount of cash and his bank card and mobile phone with him when his body was discovered, so is not believed to have been the victim of robbery.
His bank card and mobile phone were also with him.
News of Nathan’s death shocked the community following a week-long search and a frantic appeal by his family for the father-of-two to come home.
Friends remember Nathan for who he was, and not his past
People who know him came to his defence on Facebook after the Inquest's ruling was publicised.
Eliza Williamson said: “No matter what the circumstances, he was still a lovely person.”
Carly Smith said: “Nathan was a great lad and a great dad – we know the truth.”
Shannon Smedley said: “(The media) is making out he is some sort of druggy low life! He as never been like that and has always put Helen and his kids first no matter what and would do anything for anyone. He was the most caring man ever.”
Lauraine Darby-Thurgood said: “Nathan was a nice person. He was a good Dad to Enya and Wesley and loved them both very much. Nathan was a very different person before he had children. They changed him. What he did years ago doesn’t matter, he wasn’t that person anymore. He became a family man who was concentrating on working as a builder to provide for his family.”
Aston Reed said: “I’ve known Nathan all my life, we had some good camping trips, nights out and good laughs playing card because he always cheated. He was the joker of the group, always making people laugh with his ways. He’s always put others first – always there to listen. He’s one of the nicest lads I’ve known.”