Man killed by fumes from petrol strim­mer

Fa­ther used tool in con­fined space af­ter drink­ing

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - NEWS - By Camilla Good­man camilla.good­man@trin­i­tymir­

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.”


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