Cambodia death: accidental verdict

PUBLISHED: 18:06 20 March 2008 | UPDATED: 15:42 11 May 2010

Lewis Newbury

Lewis Newbury

A CORONER has recorded a verdict of accidental death on a 23-year-old man who died while travelling in Cambodia. An inquest at Hertfordshire Coroner s Court on Thursday heard that Lewis Newbury, 23, of Stamford Avenue, Royston, died at the Okay Guest Hous

A CORONER has recorded a verdict of accidental death on a 23-year-old man who died while travelling in Cambodia.

An inquest at Hertfordshire Coroner's Court on Thursday heard that Lewis Newbury, 23, of Stamford Avenue, Royston, died at the Okay Guest House in Daun Penh, Cambodia, on October 12 last year.

A post-mortem examination showed that he died of acute cardio-pulmonary failure.

Coroner Edward Thomas told Lewis's family: "This death was unintended. I can't begin to imagine how awful this has been for you and nothing I can say will take away what has happened.

"Lewis was very happy and enjoying himself. His friends said he was an easy person to travel with, who often spoke of his family," he said.

The coroner read a statement from Conrad Franks, a friend who Lewis met while travelling in south-east Asia.

He said that on the day of Lewis's death they had spent much of the afternoon and evening drinking beer and vodka with another friend, Richard Sergeant.

They had planned to visit a night club after dinner, but Lewis decided to stay behind at the hotel, as he was already "extremely drunk, laughing, and swaying on his feet".

Conrad and Richard took Lewis to his room, and put him to bed at about 11.30pm. They returned at 5am, and said that when they checked on Lewis his skin was warm and he appeared to be asleep.

When Lewis did not show up for a coach trip the group had planned the next day, the alarm was raised.

The coroner also read a report from the chief of police in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, who said that officers found no sign of a break in and that there were no injuries to the body.

He added that it was the conclusion of local police that Lewis "probably died of alcohol overdose or heart failure."

A post-mortem examination carried out at the Lister Hospital found that Lewis had suffered a cardio-pulmonary failure.

Mr Thomas said that this was common in someone whose cardio-respiratory system had consumed a high level of alcohol.

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