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Man who died trapped head-first in drain in Bury St Edmunds was intoxicated, inquest hears

PUBLISHED: 16:06 15 October 2018 | UPDATED: 16:10 15 October 2018

Police on the scene in Linnet Road. Picture: EMMA BRENNAN

Police on the scene in Linnet Road. Picture: EMMA BRENNAN


The death of a Bury St Edmunds man who got trapped head-first in a drain was alcohol related, an inquest has heard.

Lee Carnegie, 49, was discovered trapped in the drain outside his home in Linnet Road on May 9 by a member of the public.

They immediately called the police and, with the help of others, pulled Mr Carnegie from the drain and began CPR.

At an inquest in Ipswich today, assistant coroner Kevin McCarthy said: “The male was found head down in the drain with his legs flailing in the air.

“They pulled Lee out of the drain and lay him out on the grass.”

Mr McCarthy said Mr Carnegie could not be revived and was pronounced dead at the scene.

The inquest heard a toxicology report, conducted as part of the post mortem by Dr Rebecca Andrews of Imperial College London, revealed Mr Carnegie had an alcohol level of 291mg in 100ml of blood at the time of his death.

The legal limit for driving is 80mg in 100ml of blood.

Mr McCarthy added: “The toxicology report shows a very high concentration of ethanol within blood and urine which would have resulted in extreme drunkenness.

“It could have reasonably contributed as a precipitant to the deceased losing his grip in the drain.”

Dr Andrews added his alcohol level was close to the point it could put someone in a coma.

Mr McCarthy said the drain had been flushed through after Mr Carnegie’s death, adding that no items had been found “that should not be there”.

During the hearing, Mr Carnegie, whose family attended inquest, was described as a popular man with a lots of acquaintances and friends.

His daughter Janay Bailey described him as “a very social man” who “loved to have a good laugh”.

Mr McCarthy added: “The fact that his family, including his ex-partner, have attended shows he was loved.”

Concluding the inquest, Mr McCarthy said the cause of death was due to acute aspiration of foreign objects, inverted entrapment in a drain and alcohol intoxication.

He said: “This death was alcohol related. I think that is the correct conclusion. He clearly had alcohol problems and shouldn’t have been doing what he was doing.”

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