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Devon Dobson dies of cancer after being quizzed for manslaughter and released following death of pal Peter Tomlin at Maidstone flat

By Angela Cole

A 47-year-old man initially implicated in the death of a friend has died from cancer.

Devon Dobson was arrested on suspicion on manslaughter and drugs offences after 42-year-old friend Peter Tomlin was found dead at his Maidstone flat.

Dobson, who later robbed a Wateringbury service station but returned to pay for a £2 drink, was three months into a 20-month sentence when he passed away.

Devon Dobson raided a service station in Wateringbury
Devon Dobson raided a service station in Wateringbury

He was questioned after Mr Tomlin’s death at his John Street home in September, but later released without charge.

An inquest into Mr Tomlin’s death heard he had puncture marks in his right arm and used needles.

Mr Tomlin lived in an annexe to his parents’ house in Old Orchard Lane, Leybourne.

Toxicology tests and a post mortem were clear he died as a result of taking alcohol, cocaine and morphine, although the level of drugs was relatively low.

Mid Kent and Medway coroner Patricia Harding said there was not enough evidence to determine events leading to his death, and recorded an open conclusion.

Had he still been alive, it is likely Mr Dobson would have been called to give evidence.

Old Orchard Lane in Leybourne, where Tomlin lived
Old Orchard Lane in Leybourne, where Tomlin lived

He told police at the time he had been drinking with Mr Tomlin, an unemployed father.

They had gone out to buy drugs and then returned to the flat to take them.

After waking up at 3am he found Mr Tomlin comatose and called an ambulance.

Just five weeks later he robbed a service station in Tonbridge Road, Wateringbury, taking £165 but pausing to leave £2 for a bottle of Fanta.

He shouted at the teenage cashier: “Don’t press any buttons, this is a robbery.”

He died at Medway Maritime Hospital from upper gastrointestinal cancer.

DS Neil Kimber told the inquest no evidence of any third party involvement had been found or that Mr Dobson had administered the drugs.

Mr Dobson’s inquest, which was opened on Friday, April 4, will be concluded at a later date.

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