Father urges death case to be re-opened

PUBLISHED: 12:00 02 August 2007 | UPDATED: 15:12 12 May 2010

Andrew Lewin

Andrew Lewin

THE Crown Prosecution Service is being urged to review a case after an inquest into the death of an 18-year-old teenager. Patrick Lewin said new evidence had come out of the hearing about his son s death 10 years ago when he died from a massive heat strok

THE Crown Prosecution Service is being urged to review a case after an inquest into the death of an 18-year-old teenager.

Patrick Lewin said new evidence had come out of the hearing about his son's death 10 years ago when he died from a massive heat stroke.

His son, Andrew, had been left in a parked car in Spain as the temperature climbed to 50 degrees centigrade.

An expert witness had told the inquest that the temperature would have caused a "greenhouse effect" inside the vehicle.

The teenager, of Mill House, Rushden, near Buntingford, had been on holiday in Marbella and had spent the night drinking, the inquest was told.

Because of his condition he was left inside a parked car outside the El Madronel Tennis Club.

Mr Lewin said after the hearing at Hatfield Coroner's Court on Thursday: "I would certainly now want to ask the CPS to review the case again based on new evidence that has come out of the inquest.

"That is the fact that we now know his alcohol level, and we know he was alive when he was put in the car to be driven back to his accommodation.

He said the CPS had always claimed that it was not known when Andrew had died. "Now we know he died when he was in the car after he had been left on his own."

Mr Lewin said: "I just think there should be an accounting for this tragedy."

One of those with Andrew during the holiday was Courtney Kayne, who did not give evidence but at the time of the incident told police that he had left him the car.

"I believed at the time he was in no danger," said Mr Kayne in his statement.

But Mr Lewin said Mr Kayne had to be faced with the "responsibility for what he did".

He added: "He has never spoken to me or given me an explaination. For 10 years he has been saying Andrew drank himself to death, which was untrue and extremely hurtful."

The reason the case took so long to be held was because of an investigation by police in Spain and a detailed inquiry by Herts police.

Twice the case papers were sent to the CPS which decided not to prosecute and there had also been a judicial review.

The inquest jury decided that Andrew died from heat stroke, exacerbated by alcohol intoxication after he had been left in the car.

The jury said: "If he had not remained in the car at such high temperatures he would have not died."

During the three-day inquest the jury heard how Andrew and friends had spent the early hours of July 29, 1997 visiting bars and clubs in Marbella.

When he finally left a club near Estepona at about 8.15am he had to be helped outside and into a small Peugeot 106 Mr Kayne was driving.

The court heard that on arriving back at the El Madronel Tennis Club Mr Kayne was unable to rouse Andrew, and he went to bed leaving him in the car.

As the sun the rose it was already becoming one of the hottest days of the month.

At 7am temperatures had reached 21 degrees centigrade. By 1pm the temperature outside the car was in excess of 30 degree centigrade.

Consultant engineer Raymond Morrisey, a Health and Safety accident investigator, told the court the soaring temperatures outside would have created a "greenhouse effect" in the vehicle.

By midday he said the temperatures inside the vehicle would have been around 45 to 50 degrees centigrade.

The normal body temperature is 37 degrees and the court heard as Andrew lay sleeping his body heat would have started to rise rapidly.

Pathologist Dr Nat Carey said anything over 40 degrees was dangerous for the human body.

With temperatures hitting between 45 and 50 degrees C he said Andrew would have suffered multiple organ failure.

Dr Carey gave the cause of death as heat stroke exacerbated by acute alcohol intoxication.

The inquest heard that blood tests showed Andrew to be two and a half times over the legal driving limit.

Dr Carey the effects of the alcohol could mean that his ability to deal with a dangerous situation was impaired.

Toxicologist Prof Alexander Forrest said the amount of alcohol Andrew had consumed that night would not have been enough to have caused his death on its own.


If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Royston Crow. Click the link in the orange box above for details.

Become a supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Latest from the Royston Crow