St Albans man's death was accidental, inquest hears

St Albans & Harpenden Review: St Albans man died of asphyxiation, inquest hears St Albans man died of asphyxiation, inquest hears

A young man who died of asphyxiation did not mean to kill himself, an inquest heard.

Jake Williams, aged 22, was found at his home in Marshalswick Lane, St Albans, on the morning of November 19, 2013.

Blood tests revealed evidence of cocaine and alcohol in his system.

At an inquest on Wednesday, Hertfordshire Coroners’ Court heard how his father Guy Williams, went to his son's room at about 8am.

He saw there was something around Jake’s neck, and called his wife Debbie and paramedics.

Peter Harper, scenes of crimes officer, searched Jake’s room and did not find a note in Jake’s handwriting. He said the room was typical of a young man’s.

Dr Matilda Ralph, consultant histopathologist at West Hertfordshire Hospitals NHS Trust, carried out the post-mortem.

She said Jake had 86 milligrams of alcohol in his blood, which is just over the legal drive limit, and some cocaine.

Edward Thomas gave a verdict of accidental death due to asphyxiation.

He said: "I am satisfied that Jake died an accidental death. I’m satisfied that what happened was, for whatever reason, only he will know, but these things do happen.

"He dozed off and died because any slight movement down onto the neck could cause asphyxiation.

"When you’ve got cocaine and alcohol in your blood things like that can happen.

"But I’m satisfied this wasn’t a deliberate act that caused his death. And therefore I record a verdict of accidental death.

Jake taught people with autism and special needs.

* This article has been edited and re-published. The St Albans Review would like to apologise for any distress caused by inaccuracies that occurred in the original article

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