DRINK and drugs created a lethal cocktail that claimed the life of a street drinker.
An inquest this week into the death of Loule Wells, also known as Mendy, revealed he had 401 milligrammes of alcohol per 100 millitres of blood - said by East Sussex coroner Alan Craze to be “a colossal amount, five times the legal limit for driving” - when he died on April 20 this year.
Tests showed Mr Wells, 46, of London Road, St Leonards, had also taken cocaine and heroin - the latter’s combination with alcohol creating a fatal toxicity which was cited by pathologist Dr Ian Hawley as the cause of death.
Mr Wells’ friend, David Redford, of Woodland Vale Road, St Leonards, said Mr Wells had been staying with him for a few weeks because he was being evicted from his own home.
He knew Mr Wells drank, and added: “I knew he used a bit of cannabis, but I had no idea he used to take heroin.”
On the afternoon before he died, he had come to Mr Redford’s door “very, very drunk - he could hardly stand up”. Mr Redford made him tea and later settled him in a chair for the night.
Mr Redford said he woke around 6am the next day and went in to find Mr Wells still in the same position he had left him. He said: “I tried shaking him, but he felt still and cold. I couldn’t find a pulse and so I called 999.”
PC Joanne Lane, of Hastings police, attended with paramedics and said she had recognised Mr Wells as “a well-known street drinker”.
The coroner said that while his drinking was known about, there was no evidence of him having engaged in prolonged drug use. He recorded a narrative verdict, saying that Mr Wells had died from an accidental overdose of alcohol and heroin.