Halliwell man drank himself to death
THE death of a 33-year-old man from alcohol poisoning should serve as a warning to drinkers, a coroner has said.
An inquest heard how David Spellman was more than five times over the drink-drive limit when he died in his flat in Peterhead Close, Halliwell, on November 14 last year.
Mr Spellman’s mother, Jean Hodlin, said he had never had a permanent job and moved around a lot, sometimes sleeping rough, after developing an addiction to alcohol.
She added that she and her husband would see him four or five times a year — but often he had been drinking.
Neighbour Alan Mulraney said that the unemployed bachelor lived like a hermit with few friends and preferred to drink Frosty Jack cider and whisky.
Mr Mulraney, from whom Spellman refused to take up offers of help to combat his alcoholism, told the inquest: “He’d just drink sometimes to oblivion — until he couldn’t stand.”
Mr Mulraney said that on the morning of November 14 he could not hear music coming from Mr Spellman’s flat, which was unusual.
He went into the flat through the unlocked door and found his neighbour sitting in a wicker chair in the living room.
He was dead, with bottles of cider and whisky beside him.
Pathologist Patrick Waugh told the inquest that 420mg of alcohol was in 100ml of Mr Spellman’s blood.
The drink drive limit is 80mg and 350mg is considered a potentially fatal amount.
He added that such high levels of alcohol depress the central nervous system and a drinker falls asleep and stops breathing.
Recording a conclusion that Mr Spellman died an alcohol-related death, coroner Alan Walsh said he did not believe he intended to harm himself.
He added: “If there’s any benefit to get from the death of David John Spellman, it is that others can be warned.
“He was a bright young man who should have been able to understand the problems but got himself involved in a spiral of destruction.”