A 58-YEAR-old man had more than three times the drink-drive limit of alcohol in his blood when his body was found in a dyke.
The coroner investigating the death of Ian Hackett, who three years earlier had lost his teenage son James in a road crash, described his death as “a tragic accident”.
Coroner Maureen Taylor, at the inquest in Spalding on Friday, said Mr Hackett (pictured) had been out drinking the night before.
A post mortem revealed the cause of death was drowning. An examination also revealed 258 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of blood. The drink-drive limit is 80.
In a statement, David Niccoc, landlord of the Beridge Arms in Sutterton, said Mr Hackett was a regular at his pub, who often talked about James, and the fundraising he did for the charity Brake, which helps prevent young people dying on the country’s roads.
On the night of December 2, Mr Hackett had gone to the pub about 10pm and consumed four pints of beer and three large whiskies before leaving two-and-a-half hours later.
That night he had been talking about having his credit cards stolen and he had been outside for a cigarette a couple of times before leaving to go home.
Mr Hackett’s nephew, Andrew Hluszko, said he was called the next morning because his uncle had not returned home in Eastfield Close, Sutterton.
Mr Hluszko searched the area in his car and stopped alongside the dyke in One Way Street.
He said: “It was dark and cold but I was shining my headlights and noticed a dark shape in the water.
“The dyke had about two feet of water in it and the sides were very steep, so I went home to get a pole.
“When I returned I went down the dyke and found my uncle. I became stuck and screamed for help to my dad, who called the emergency services.”
Miss Taylor, recording a verdict of accidental death, said no-one would ever know how Mr Hackett ended up in the water, but his drinking and his nephew’s own struggle to get out of the dyke were factors in the tragedy.