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Man found in park toilets died of drink and drugs cocktail

By Alan Smith

A man who was found dead in the disabled toilet at Whatman Park in Maidstone had suffered a long history of drink and drug abuse, an inquest heard.

Benjamin Terranova was discovered by a member of the public early in the morning of Monday, August 29, last year.

Ambulance crews were called, but Mr Terranova was dead at the scene.

Whatman Park in Maidstone
Whatman Park in Maidstone

Assistant coroner Katrina Hepburn heard that Mr Terranova, who was 28, had a history of alcohol abuse since he was an adolescent, and in later years had also taken drugs.

He had spent at least five periods in rehabilitation clinics and was just completing a three-month residential course at Kenward House in Yalding when he died.

He had confessed to others at the home that he had continued to take drugs while on the course and he said he was ashamed about that and would not be feel able attend the “graduation” ceremony.

Instead, the weekend of his death, he visited a flat in Holland Road that had been arranged for him to stay in on leaving Kenward.

The last recorded sighting of Mr Terranova alive was in the early evening of Sunday when he had accepted a pizza delivery.

His rucksack, containing his wallet, was found alongside his body, and DS Tracy Evans said the police had no reason to believe there was any third party involvement in his death.

The previous evening there had been an open-air cinema showing of The Jungle Book in the park.

Mr Terranova had suffered from depression and anxiety and had spent several periods as a voluntary patient at Priority House mental care unit in Maidstone. He had self-harmed by burning his arm with cigarettes and a lighter, and had also been admitted to A&E on several occasions over the years having taken an overdose, but the coroner said there was no evidence to suggest he had intended to take his own life.

Mr Terranova was said to have enjoyed reading classical literature and had hoped to take a creative writing course.

A post mortem examination found toxic levels of alcohol, morphine and cocaine in his system.

The coroner found his death had been caused by haemorrhaging of the alveoli in the lungs, as a result of multi-drug toxicity.

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