Former boxing champ died from alcoholism

Kim Smith
Kim Smith

AN ALCOHOLIC ex-boxer was discovered dead by his distraught partner at her home when she woke up.

Kim Smith, 53, of Stonehouse Drive, St Leonards, had lain dead for several hours before paramedics arrived.

An inquest into Mr Smith’s death, which happened on New Year’s Eve last year, was held on Wednesday, May 25.

It heard he had been an alcoholic most of his life and he was severely intoxicated at the time he died.

Mr Smith’s partner Therese Sumner, of Whatlington Way, St Leonards, said: “We were engaged for almost two years and I don’t think he was going too far with his drinking.

“I went out earlier that day he died to get some alcohol.

“After I returned I left the cans in the bag before going out again to take a friend’s Christmas present around to her house.”

She said she fell asleep for a while after she came back home but woke up later to find Mr Smith dead.

“I knew something was wrong and could tell Kim had died a long time before the paramedics were called,” she added.

A post mortem revealed Mr Smith had heart disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and a damaged liver brought on by alcoholism.

The alcohol level in his body was 408 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of blood. The legal limit for driving is 80 mcg.

Mr Smith was a former Junior ABA Championship semi-finalist who always supported West Hill Boxing Club.

He was involved in 99 bouts from the age of 12 into his 20s, all for West Hill, and is thought to have won well over three-quarters of them.

He faced some of the biggest boxers in the UK and was only denied a Junior ABA Championship final place by a majority points defeat against Tony Laing, brother of two-time British welterweight champion Kirkland Laing.

Mr Smith’s daughter Lisa said: “I always remember dad as a drinker and he would often go to the pub.

“He was never abusive and just got emotional when he was drunk. I knew that his drinking took a toll on his health.

“Dad was a loving person and adored his family.

“He was such a funny guy and kept every card we sent him. That’s how much we meant to him.”

Coroner Alan Craze said Mr Smith’s death was due to a conbination of natural causes and alcohol poisoning.

He recorded a narrative verdict saying the cause of death was alcoholism.