St Leonards man died after choking on toast

Hastings Borough Council said it successfully prosecuted the pair
Hastings Borough Council said it successfully prosecuted the pair

A St Leonards man died after choking on a piece of toast, an inquest heard.

Barry Canelle, 76, died at his house in Bexhill Road, St Leonards, on January 1, 2019.

An inquest into his death, held in Hastings today (April 30), heard Mr Canelle had eaten toast for breakfast before he began choking.

The retired coach driver went into cardiac arrest before paramedics arrived at the scene shortly after 10.30am.

The inquest heard from Lucas Vega, an ambulance technician with the South East Coast Ambulance Service, who said Mr Canelle was unresponsive and not breathing when he arrived on scene.

Mr Vega said he noticed food matter around Mr Canelle’s mouth and removed ‘two large pieces’ from behind his tongue.

He said he removed as much as he could see before beginning chest compressions on Mr Canelle.

Despite efforts from paramedics, Mr Canelle was pronounced dead at the scene.

The inquest also heard from Mr Canelle’s wife Rosemary who had been with her on husband on the morning of his death.

In a written statement read to the court, Mrs Canelle said she had been married to her husband for nearly 27 years.

She said he had retired in 2007 but suffered a fall in Bexhill in 2018 which fractured his femur – an injury Mrs Canelle said her husband ‘never really recovered from’.

On the morning of January 1, Mrs Canelle said her husband had eaten toast for breakfast, gone into the lounge, sat down and began gasping for breath.

She said she called for an ambulance and four paramedics helped him for ‘what seemed life forever’ but could not save him.

Senior coroner for East Sussex Alan Craze returned a conclusion of accidental death.

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