Inquest hears former Axminster man died from alcohol abuse

PUBLISHED: 09:45 19 February 2018 | UPDATED: 10:04 19 February 2018

The inquest is due to be held at County Hall. Picture: Terry Ife

The inquest is due to be held at County Hall. Picture: Terry Ife


Mark Priest’s body could not cope with the amount of alcohol he was drinking, an inquest heard.

A former Axminster man was more than seven times the drink drive limit when he was found dead in a Scottish park - 580 miles from his home.

Mark Priest’s body could not cope with the amount of alcohol he was drinking, an inquest heard.

The coroner heard that Mark began to drink when he was 16 to deal with the sexual abuse he suffered when he was aged eight to ten.

The 43 year old had been to school in Axminster but had learning difficulties and never had paid work in his life.

He was living in Alphington Road in Exeter, but ended up in Edinburgh before he moved over to Aberdeen even though he had no links to Scotland at all, said the coroner Luisa Nicholson.

A post mortem revealed that his blood alcohol intoxication was in the fatal range.

Toxicology report showed he had 575 microgrammes of alcohol in his blood - the top limit for driving is just 80mg - and he was more than seven times that level.

The inquest in Exeter heard that he was found dead lying in bushes in a park in Aberdeen one morning in September 2016.

An open bottle of vodka was by his legs and he had £192 cash in his pocket.

He was seen on CCTV the night before going into a local shop to buy a bottle of whisky, some orange juice and cigarettes.

That evening a dog walker in the park heard someone vomiting in some bushes but he continued on his way.

Police Scotland said there were no suspicious circumstances.

The assistant Devon coroner said Mark was a single, jobless man who had led a ‘troubled life’ and had a history of alcohol dependency.

She said he died suddenly because ‘his body could not cope’ with his alcoholism.

She recorded a conclusion that his death was, on the balance of probabilities, alcohol related.

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