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Inquest rules Maidstone man did not intend to take his own life

Parents desperately tried to revive their son after he accidentally took a fatal mix of alcohol and drugs, an inquest heard.

Henri Nelson, 31, a landscape gardener from Maidstone was a drug addict but had been seeking help for his problems when he died on October 25, at his Upper Fant Road home.

The inquest was held on Monday at Archbishop’s Palace, in Maidstone. Picture: Andy Jones
The inquest was held on Monday at Archbishop’s Palace, in Maidstone. Picture: Andy Jones

An inquest held on Monday, heard how Mr Nelson's parents had tried to provide a loving home and support their son through his troubles, but in their last act they could not save him.

On the evening of October 25, Mr Nelson, described by assistant coroner Scott Matthewson as a "free spirit" who had lived in India and Wales, texted his mum that he was going to The Muggleton Inn, in Maidstone, after work.

Despite her worry about when he would be back, Mr Nelson returned at 8.40pm with a takeaway. He told his parents he was "stoned" and headed to the front room where he slept to listen to music.

About two hours later, his mum went to check on him before bed, as she always did, to find him slumped forward, with his lips "black and blue".

When they arrived, paramedics pronounced him dead at the scene.

Questions still hang over where Henri Nelson went before his death, as he never went to The Muggleton Inn Picture: Chris Davey
Questions still hang over where Henri Nelson went before his death, as he never went to The Muggleton Inn Picture: Chris Davey

Questions still hang over where Mr Nelson had been and who he was with in the hours before his death, as the police discovered he had not actually been to The Muggleton Inn.

Mr Nelson had upcoming appointments with substance misuse charity Change Grow Live, investigating officer Det Sgt Susan Basford said.

However, internet searches on his phone on the morning of October 25 were related to drugs and recent messages showed that he was buying drugs for himself, "or other people in the Maidstone area".

Mr Matthewson said there was not a "shred of evidence" that Mr Nelson took drugs and drank that evening with any intention other than "getting high and enjoying himself".

"He had his difficulties and demons but there is no evidence he intended to take his own life," the assistant coroner added.

'It is every parent's nightmare when your child is an addict...'

Mr Matthewson thanked Mr Nelson's family for their decorum at the hearing and said: "It is every parent's nightmare when your child is an addict. There's absolutely nothing you can do about it.

"Either you reject the child or you can provide support. It is a mistake for people to look at families going through this and think anything other than they are also victims.

"You tried to provide him with a loving home in the hope he would find his way."

It was ruled that high levels of alcohol, plus cocaine detected in his system, combined with his asthma, had led to Mr Nelson suffering respiratory asphyxiation.

His death was ruled as drugs and alcohol related.

For confidential support on an emotional issue, call Samaritans on 116 123 at any time, or click here.

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