Father dies outside supermarket

North Somerset Coroner's Court

North Somerset Coroner's Court - Credit: Archant

A PORTISHEAD father died outside the town’s Co-operative supermarket after consuming a lethal amount of alcohol, a coroner’s court has heard.

Dean Stephens, aged 29, died on November 28 last year outside the store in Wyndham Way.

During an inquest into his death, held at Flax Bourton Coroners Court on June 18, it was revealed PC Brian Baker-Brown found Mr Stephens, who has a history of epilepsy, in a seated position with his eyes shut after a panicked call from his friend.

The court heard the father-of-two, of Cheviot Meadow in The Vale, was separated from his partner and had visited his GP practice a couple of weeks before his death due to anxiety and depression.

In a statement read out at the inquest from PC Baker-Brown, he said: “I was on patrol with a police officer at 2.10am and attended the car park of the Co-op in response to a call from a male.

“He stated his friend Dean was losing consciousness but stopped breathing at the time of the call.

“The male identified himself and appeared intoxicated. He was panicking and stated his mate needed help. We were led to a footpath along the front of the Co-op supermarket and immediately saw a white male in a seated position with his eyes shut.

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“PC Courtney was with me and whispered to me that she thought Dean was dead.”

Assistant coroner Peter Harrowing said: “The medical cause of death was acute alcohol toxicity. There was no evidence of any trauma and Dean has a history of intravenous drug use.

“The toxicity report revealed the blood level at 427 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath, which is five times in excess of the legal driving limit.

“Levels greater than 300 are associated with serious toxicity and with levels greater than 400 there is a risk of death.”

The coroner concluded Mr Stephen’s death was due to acute alcohol toxicity, following excessive consumption of alcohol.