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Christopher Humphrey inquest delivers its verdict after he collapsed on Whitstable beach

The devastated parents of a former painter and decorator who collapsed on Whitstable seafront have paid tribute to their “kind and fun-loving” son.

Middle Wall resident Christopher Humphrey was 28 when he collapsed near the Neptune pub last July.

An inquest held at Margate Magistrates’ Court heard how Mr Humphrey had a history of alcohol abuse and died after consuming a fatal cocktail of drugs and alcohol.

Christopher with his dad Roger
Christopher with his dad Roger

He had been drinking in his Middle Wall flat with friends Samuel Fox and Kate Gillespie before walking to the beach where he collapsed.

Ambulance crews raced to the scene around 7pm but efforts to resuscitate Mr Humphrey proved fruitless. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

His father Roger Humphrey, of Stirling Way, Ramsgate said his son had a “heart of gold”.

Flowers at the scene last July
Flowers at the scene last July

He said: “I just miss him so much.

“He was a lovely lad and he had a heart of gold – he would help out anyone.

“He was good at his job and it’s just a shame he is not here anymore.

“I miss him everyday.”

Assistant coroner James Dillon heard how Mr Humphrey, Mr Fox and Miss Gillespie met while in rehab for alcoholism in 2014.

The trio met up at Mr Humphrey’s flat on Friday, July 25 last year, before heading to the beach where – while Mr Fox and Miss Gillespie paddled in the sea – Mr Humphrey collapsed by the steps by the promenade a few hundred yards away from them.

Mr Humphrey was a client of health and social care provider Turning Point and The Beacon Centre in Ramsgate for a number of years to receive support for his mental health and alcoholism.

“He will always be missed and we all loved him. I would like to thank all the people on the beach on that day who helped him..." - Cheryl Krasniqi 

Sharon Buxton, social care team leader at The Beacon Centre, said the team needed to “reflect and learn” from this incident.

Mr Humphrey’s mother Cheryl Krasniqi added: “He was very kind and fun-loving.

“He got in with the wrong people.

“We all loved him.

“He will always be missed and we all loved him. I would like to thank all the people on the beach on that day who helped him.

“There were people who owned a fishmongers and restaurant and a nurse – they were very kind.”

Toxicology results after his death showed Mr Humphrey had a “fatal level” of MDMA in his blood.

The cause of death was recorded as intoxication of drugs and alcohol, which also led to an epileptic fit.

Coroner Mr Dillon recorded a narrative verdict and said in his conclusion: “On the afternoon or early evening of July 25 last year, Chris was at Whitstable beach with two friends when he was seen to collapse.

“The ambulance crew were on the scene having been called by a member of the public concerned he was drunk or unwell.

“CPR was immediately commenced by paramedics on arrival but was unsuccessful.

“He had a lengthy history of alcohol abuse and had been drinking from the previous night before his death.

“He had also ingested MDMA as well as prescription drugs and alcohol on that fatal day.”

If you need help with a drinking problem, call Alcoholics Anonymous on 0800 9177 650 or email help@alcoholics-anonymous.org.uk. For support with addiction issues, call KCA on 01634 298580.

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