Great Britain

Much-loved son from Kendal who opposed drugs died a drug and alcohol related death- inquest

A MUCH-loved man, whose friends lined the streets in tribute following his death, died from alcohol and drug toxicity; an inquest heard.

Thomas Seward, of Burneside, died at the age of 32 at his friend Neil Tallon’s house on Broad Ing in Kendal on May 16.

A toxicology report found that the Churchill Court resident had MDMA in his system, as well as 170 milligrams of alcohol per decilitre of blood.

The level of the drug, better known as ecstasy, in his system was said to be within a range associated with fatality, Cockermouth Coroner’s Court was told.

“I have known him for about 10 years as we worked together in joinery," said Mr Tallon.

“He had been coming back to my house after work for a drink on a regular basis.”

Mr Tallon said they were having a drinking session on May 15.

“After a few hours of drinking Tom said he was going to a mate’s house, but he didn’t say who,” he continued.

“I got a call from him around midnight but I didn’t answer as I think he wanted to continue to drink and I didn’t.

“He then phoned my partner who also didn’t answer.

“Later we heard him shouting through the letter box to continue the drinking.”

The couple joined Mr Seward in the living room and continued to drink before he said that he was not feeling very well," the inquest heard.

Mr Tallon and his partner stayed with him for about an hour until he fell asleep, then went back to bed.

Later Mr Tallon went downstairs for a drink and to check on his friend, who he realised was not breathing and was cold to the touch, it was heard.

“We rang an ambulance who was talking us through CPR and I started chest compressions until they arrived and took over,” he said.

“I did not see him take any drugs and it was not something I knew him to do.”

Thomas’ mother Elizabeth Seward said: “When I got a call saying the cause of death was a combined MDMA and alcohol toxicity I was shocked,as I never thought he was involved with drugs and he never had a good word to say about them.”

She added: “He was a big Man United fan who went to every game. He even went to Russia for one game.

“It was tough for Tom when his dad died in 2014 as they were close and like best friends.”

He was a dedicated member of the Westmorland branch of the Manchester United Supporters Club (MUSC) and his mother received a letter from United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer when her son died.

It read: “I have been informed, and was deeply saddened to hear, that your dear son Tom recently passed away.

“On behalf of the staff and players at Manchester United, please accept our heartfelt condolences to you, including family and friends, on the loss of your loved one.”

Mrs Seward also spoke of his love of playing football and cricket at school.

He attended St Oswald’s Primary in Burneside then later Queen Katherine School.

Steve Buswell, of Kendal, a committee member at the MUSC Westmorland branch, said at the time of Mr Seward’s death: “Tom was very outgoing.

“He was always the first to the bar.

"He had a heart of gold.”

PC Curran of Cumbria Constabulary confirmed that there were no suspicious circumstances.

Toxicologist Katherine Walling said: “From 10 adults who had died from MDMA toxicity the concentrations that were fatal were between 0.6 milligrams per litre and 3.7 milligrams per litre of blood.

“This concentration of MDMA of 1.9milligrams per litre could be consistent with excessive use and within the associated range of fatality.”

In her summary, coroner Kirsty Gomersal said: “I have heard from the evidence that Tom was a much-loved son, brother, and friend and will be missed.”

“The most appropriate conclusion is a drug and alcohol related death.”

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