Businessman died after drinking 'fatal' amount of alcohol
A FORMER company boss died after drinking a “fatal” amount of alcohol, an inquest heard.
A post-mortem examination revealed that Mr Shields was more than five times the drink-drive limit when he was found.
Bolton’s deputy coroner, Alan Walsh, called for Mr Shield’s death to serve as a warning of “the dangers of consuming large quantities of alcohol”.
The inquest was told that Mr Shields — the former managing director of MS Car Service Centre in Manchester Road — had been drinking heavily in the years up to his death.
Pathologist Dr Emil Salmo said he died from an “acute alcohol condition”.
Mr Shields had started to drink more heavily following the breakdown of two relationships and the fact that he was unable to regularly see his seven-year-old daughter, who had moved away.
He moved back in with his parents in Lostock.
In January, he was given an 18-week suspended jail sentence and banned from driving for three years after crashing his car when he was more than four times over the drink drive limit.
On the night before his death, Mr Shields — who was working as a mechanic — had left his parents’ house at about 7.40pm to go to the nearby Beehive pub, only to return an hour later.
He then shared a whisky and lemonade drink with his father.
Mr Shields went to bed at about 10.30pm — this was the last time his parents saw him before they discovered him dead in his bed at about 11am the following morning.
His mother, Jean, told the court: “He didn’t seem drunk and, apart from a couple of beer bottles in his room, there was no evidence that he had been drinking up there and there were no spirits.
“I didn’t hear him leave the house from when he went to bed until I found him and I think I would have heard him moving about.”
The pathologist said that during the post-mortem examination he found a level of 410mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood in Mr Shield’s blood.
Dr Salmo added: “The legal driving limit in the UK is 80 mg per 100 ml and a level of above 350mg is consistent in deaths caused by alcohol.”
Mr Walsh said that what had happened between the night of June 15 and the time that Mr Shields was found dead was “a mystery”.
He added: “The only explanation is that he left the house at some point.”
Mr Walsh said he had found no evidence that Mr Shields had intentionally wanted to harm himself.
He recorded a verdict of misadventure, adding: “I’m very sorry to the family. He was a very well-liked person with lots of friends — he worked hard and played hard.
“But he was too young to die and, if there is anything to come out of the sad death of Martin, it is to point out the dangers of consuming large quantities of alcohol.”
Speaking after the inquest, Mrs Shields said: “He was a wonderful lad who just lost the plot a little bit.”
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