Man found dead in flat by parents

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A FURNITURE restorer was found dead in his flat by his devastated parents.

Nicholas Dawkins, 39, of Cloudsley Road, St Leonards, had not contacted his family for several days leading them to become concerned.

An inquest into his death, which happened on January 19, took place last Wednesday (April 4). It heard that he died from broncho pneumonia.

The hearing was also told Mr Dawkins had a history of smoking and chronic alcohol abuse.

His mum, Lynda, from Tenterden in Kent, said her son stayed at her home for five weeks until the beginning of January because of a broken bone in his foot.

She said: “Nicholas spent a lot of time with us and we were very close. He had a long-standing addiction to alcohol. We used to see each other weekly or every fortnight.

“He had not drunk for the previous nine months so he was doing pretty well. He was troubled when he was staying with us because he was not happy in himself. We did talk a lot about his drinking and we offered lots of help and outside assistance.”

Mrs Dawkins added her late son smoked a lot of roll-up cigarettes and had pneumonia when he was just six weeks old. He also had another bout of it three years ago.

Mr Dawkins returned to his flat in St Leonards on January 7 and exchanged regular text messages with his mum until several days before he was found lying in the sitting room.

Henrietta Homan, of Bexhill Road, St Leonards, said she knew Mr Dawkins since 2006 and were on and off partners.

She said: “He had become increasingly paranoid during the nine-month period he was not drinking. He came over to my place on January 8 and stayed overnight.

“After he left I texted him but got no response. I became worried after around five days, as it was not usual for him not to reply.”

A post mortem examination by pathologist Dr Ian Hawley revealed Mr Hawkins, who was a heavy smoker, had broncho pneumonia in his right lung.

Deputy coroner Joanna Pratt recorded a verdict of death by natural causes.