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Inquest into death of Ben Sharman in Peel Street Maidstone

By Natalie Tipping

A 40-year-old found dying in the street outside his flat had suffered a medical episode, an inquest heard.

Ben Sharman left a trail of blood from a head wound, leading from his flat at Ragstone Lodge, Peel Street, Maidstone, to where he was found on the morning of Friday, June 2.

Police cordoned off the road and neighbouring Granville Road after the discovery.

Forensics officers at the scene
Forensics officers at the scene

The court heard Mr Sharman, who was HIV positive, had hepatitis C and was on anti-depressants, was found at around 6.15am by a passerby.

Paramedics carried out CPR on the father-of-two in the street for 40 minutes, but could not save his life.

The inquest heard a statement from Mr Sharman’s partner, Mark Dawes, which said the 40-year-old had an operation to move bone marrow around his body, and was taking morphine for pain relief as a result.

He said he had spent the previous evening at Mr Sharman’s flat, and had left around 10pm when his partner went to bed.

Evidence read out from Mr Sharman’s doctor and from the Kent and Medway NHS and Social Care Partnership Trust detailed his history of suicidal thoughts, and that he had reported hearing voices in his head telling him to harm himself.

"There is no evidence Ben did this deliberately with the intention of taking his life" - assistant coroner Ian Wade

But Mr Dawes told the coroner his partner was not suicidal when he died.

He said: “These reports make it sound like Ben’s whole life was one mental illness, but it wasn’t.

"In that last week he was in such a good place, he was sleeping better and eating well.”

A post mortem found he had died from multi-drug toxicity.

Ian Wade, assistant coroner for Mid-Kent and Medway, said: “There is no evidence Ben did this deliberately with the intention of taking his life.

“I come to the conclusion that he took medications intending to help himself, but took more than was good for him.

"I consider the proper conclusion is this death was an accident.”

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