A man who had been struggling with lockdown after many years battling depression was found dead in his flat surrounded by empty vodka bottles.
Benjamin Nicolas Davies, 39, was found alone and unresponsive in his home in Scarborough on 26 February, Yorkshire Live reports.
Lockdown ‘really affected him’
The 39-year-old, affectionately known to his family and friends as ‘Bunny’, died from acute alcohol toxicity after drinking five times over the legal drink drive limit.
The senior coroner for North Yorkshire did not rule Mr Davies’ death as a suicide as he had never expressed thought of suicidal ideations.
Mr Davies’ had succumbed to bouts of depression during his lifetime, but had found the months of lockdown restrictions particularly difficult.
At an inquest into his death on Monday (7 June) in Northallerton, the court heard that he had a history of drug and alcohol abuse and was living in Bournemouth in 2017 when his mum, Geraldine, encouraged him to go to York to be around his son.
When this proved unsuccessful, Mr Davies was provided with a flat in the Eastfield area of Scarborough where he lived alone.
His mum said he had found living away from his family in the south particularly tough and said despite suffering from low self-esteem, “he would just never ask for help”.
Geraldine said it was evident that the lockdown had “really affected him”, but he would accept help “if it was engineered for him.”
‘He never got the help he needed’
At the time of his death, Mr Davies had been out of work for five years and had become overweight, which fuelled his low self-esteem.
The weight-gain led him to become self-conscious and caused him to become a recluse from the outside world.
Despite approaching doctors and mental health teams about his troubles, his mum said he “never got the help that he needed”.
She explained: “I could see he was struggling. He just wanted to block everything out.
“I really wanted to go and help him but couldn't because of the pandemic."
She added that she had tried to arrange for him to move closer to where she lives in Dorset so he could be around family, but the strict lockdown restrictions made the situation problematic.
Police and emergency services had to break into Mr Davies's flat on 26 February after his family raised concerns after failing to hear from him for a few days.
Geraldine said: "My son just wanted help. He was crying out for it. I could see so why couldn't anyone else.
"His death should never have happened. He didn't want to die. His brothers and myself all loved him."
Paying tribute to her son, Geraldine said he was a “lovely, kind and warm-hearted” person, while his brother Jon said “he would do anything for anyone”, and seemed to care more about everyone else than himself." His older brother James added that he had a “heart of gold”.
A fundraising page has been set up in the wake of his death to help raise money for a local boxing gym that Mr Davies’ attended.
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