Mystery as cause of Hastings death is unknown

Hastings Magistrates Court
Hastings Magistrates Court

An inquest was this week unable to find out how a former cleaner died at his home.

Douglas Pegg died in his flat in Wellington Square on February 26.

However, Tuesday’s inquest heard his body was too badly decomposed to identify a cause of death.

The inquest heard there could only have been a maximum of 15 hours from his passing to being found – not usually long enough for severe decomposition.

His wife Lynda Pegg said he went to bed at 8pm on February 25.

She checked on him at 10am the next morning and he appeared to be breathing.

By 11.30am he had not woken up so she checked again and found he was no longer breathing.

Mrs Pegg phoned the emergency services but he was pronounced dead shortly after.

Retired cleaner Mr Pegg was seen by consultant haemotologist Sunil Gupta for his leukaemia treatment on February 25. Mr Gupta said he was sure the leukaemia did not kill him as his condition was improving.

“He was absolutely fine on the day,” he said.

“I was completely shocked to hear about his death.”

Coroner Alan Craze said he could not understand how a body could decompose so quickly, especially as the attending police officer Ella Bigsby said the flat was cold when she arrived.

The couple have no central heating and rarely use a mobile heater they kept in the room as Mrs Pegg said the Indian restaurant below their flat kept the house warm.

Paramedics noted rigamortis had set in at around 11.45pm.

Mr Craze said there was too much speculation to specify a cause of death.

He recorded a verdict of death by natural causes but said the cause was unascertained.