Nether Stowey man died after struggling with alcohol for years

This is The West Country: West Somerset coroner Michael Rose. West Somerset coroner Michael Rose.

A MAN who was found dead in a stream in Nether Stowey in February had struggled with alcohol problems for several years, a coroner’s court heard.

Gerard Loraine from Coleridge Road was discovered dead on the morning of February 9 after leaving his home the night before.

His wife of 15 years, Nicola, told the coroner that her husband had a history of drinking and depression.

In October last year she sent him to stay with two of his children in Birkenhead.

She said: “He came back sober but depressed.”

After the death of Nicola’s brother in January Gerard’s drinking increased, the inquest in Williton on Tuesday was told.

Mrs Loraine said: “They got on well together, my brother put up with him.”

She told the court that the night before his death, her husband had gone out before 5pm and then again at 7pm to buy alcohol.

He did not return home after the second trip.

Mrs Loraine added: “I used to leave the door open for him to come in. I wasn’t worried I just thought he had been at one of our friend’s houses drinking.”

Stuart Modley, from Mount Road, Nether Stowey, discovered 53-year-old Gerard the following morning.

He said: “I was out walking my dog when I saw an empty half-bottle of vodka.

“The stream is right by the school so I kicked the bottle into the stream.

“It was then that I saw the body and called the police.”

Concluding, Michael Rose said: “This is a tragic case and there is always help out there for those struggling with alcohol problems.

“Mr Loraine died of an alcohol overdose; the medical cause was pneumonia and acute ethanol toxicity.

I extend my deepest sympathies to his family."

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