‘Tragic’ father choked while eating

A RYE father of one died after choking to death while eating chicken at his South Undercliff home.

An inquest at Hastings heard that 47 year old Antony Reed, who had been diagnosed with alcoholic liver disease, had been drinking on the day that he collapsed choking on November 28 last year,

Wife, Angela, who heard him coughing while bathing their five year old son, was unable to revive him and called for help,

A police officer also tried and failed to revive Mr Reed.

Coroner Alan Craze, who described it as “A tragic event” said the alcohol he consumed may have prevented a natural gag reflex.

The inquest heard that Mr Reed, who worked as cleaner at Gatwick Airport, began drinking more heavily following the death of his father a few years ago.

Pathologist Dr Ian Hawley, who carried out a post mortem on Mr Reed, said: “Most of the food had gone down the wrong way.”

Dr Hawley said that Mr Reed was suffering from advanced liver disease,

He had earlier been treated for jaundice and diagnosed as having alcohol dependency in 2009 and had stopped drinking but then started drinking heavily again swopping beeer and cider for spirits.

Wife Angela, in a statement to the inquest, said: “He always liked to drink. He lost his father and did not take that very well.

“He started hiding alcohol and denying it.”

Mr Craze, in recording a verdict of accidental death, said: “The writing was on the wall I am afraid. It is like any drug, once you start on it it can be difficult to stop,

“This is a tragic event. There is a line and you don’t know when you are passing it, once you do then there is often no going back.”