Man killed by fumes from petrol strimmer
Father used tool in confined space after drinking
A FATHER who had drunk a bottle and a half of whisky died after he used a petrol-powered strimmer in a confined space, an inquest has heard.
Beaconsfield Coroner’s Court heard on Wednesday of last week, that Stuart Ing, 42, of Upper Belmont Road, Chesham, died from carbon monoxide poisoning after he used a strimmer in a log cabin after drinking a bottle and a half of whisky.
On the evening of June 12, Mr Ing, who was bipolar, had a discussion with his wife Samantha, which resulted in him being asked to sleep in the log cabin at the bottom of their garden.
He agreed and when they said good night, Mrs Ing said he seemed fine and, as usual, she locked the back door of their home.
At about 11am the next morning, Mrs Ing noticed that the back door was unlocked so she presumed Mr Ing, who was an early riser, was up and about.
However, at about 11.25am she grew concerned that she had not seen her husband so she went to the log cabin and knocked loudly several times, but there was no answer.
She then called her son who saw Mr Ing through the window lying on the floor not breathing, so he broke down the door, which was locked from the inside.
They called the emergency services, but paramedics pronounced Mr Ing dead at the scene at 11.58am.
The inquest heard that the back door was open because during the course of the night, Mr Ing went inside to get a bottle and a half of honey flavoured whisky.
The empty whisky bottles were found inside the cabin along with the engine of their petrolpowered strimmer, which was not usually kept in the log cabin.
No one had heard the strimmer being used in the evening.
Mrs Ing told the court her husband was fine and she doesn’t believe he had intended to kill himself.
She added: “I think he drank too much. When he used to drink too much he’d get really silly and I’d say no more, but because I wasn’t there telling him no and he was very emotional, he did something silly.”
Recording a narrative verdict, coroner Richard Hulett said: “There are two or three features here that I think are relevant.
“He’s had quite a lot to drink, his blood alcohol level was just over 200, as an example the drink drive limit is 80, it’s a significant amount of alcohol but it’s not enough to kill someone in its own right, but he did have enough to seriously effect his behaviour.
“People do silly things when they’re influenced by alcohol.
“I don’t think he consciously decided to end his life, goodness knows what he was thinking, but it was not straight thinking, sure of that.
“He was emotional and had too much alcohol and he started doing something foolish, it wasn’t a pure accident but it wasn’t a suicide.
“Sometimes people do things in the spur of the moment without really meaning it, and I think that’s what has happened in this case.”
Mr Hulett warned of the dangers of carbon monoxide in confined spaces.
He said: “People are not always aware of the dangers of carbon monoxide.
“If you run something that’s petrol burning, you will generate carbon monoxide, especially in a confined space.
“If that happens people will die because carbon monoxide has been breathed in.
“Sometimes this is done deliberately, but sometimes it is by accident such as people having a barbecue inside because it is raining and they did not realise the danger of it.”