Cause of heavy-drinker’s death in Shoreditch unknown, coroner finds

A heavy drinker who hadn’t been seen for four days was found dead in his bed surrounded by empty cans of lager, a coroner’s court heard yesterday.

Police officers discovered the body of Terence Abbott, known as Terry, at his home in Palissy Street, Shoreditch, on December 28 after a neighbour complained of a bad odour coming from the flat.

Terry had last been seen walking his dog in the afternoon on Christmas Eve.

Coroner Dr Willam Dolman recorded an open verdict at Poplar Coroner’s Court on Thursday, February 20, and said he couldn’t come to a conclusion as to the cause of the 47-year-old’s death because of the “big gap in those four days”.

Terry had a history of alcohol abuse and was on prescribed medication for his depression.

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The court heard there were no obvious signs of liver cirrhosis, excessive drinking or drug use in toxicology reports or any suggestion of an unnatural death.

Terry’s niece, Sheila Abbott, paid tribute to her uncle, who had no children and was unmarried.

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The mother-of-two said: “He was a lovely person when he wasn’t drinking. He always put people first and never had a bad word to say about anybody.

“There’s just a big gap in our life now that he has gone.

“Everyone tried so hard with him to try and get him help, but he didn’t want any of it.”

When officers found Terry, he was in bed surrounded by empty cans of drink. His dog Chloe, a Staffordshire Bull Terrier, was in the flat with him but was said to be in good condition and is being cared for.

Verdict: unascertained but not unnatural death.

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