A NEWQUAY man with a history of drinking petrol died after downing a cocktail of booze – and possibly anti-freeze.
Neil Milburn, 45, of Pydar Close, had so much alcohol in his system that it starved the blood supply to his brain, an inquest heard.
A post-mortem examination revealed he had 543mg of alcohol in every 100ml of blood – almost seven times the drink-drive limit.
Coroner Emma Carlyon told Truro Coroner's Court on Monday it was one of the highest levels she had heard of, while pathologist Juliane Stolte said she had never seen a larger reading.
Mr Milburn was discovered collapsed in an alley near Pydar Close on January 19 this year. He was resuscitated by paramedics but never regained consciousness and died in hospital, surrounded by family, nine days later.
The court heard that Mr Milburn had a history of alcoholism and overdosed on paracetamol tablets on at least two occasions.
Evidence from Detective Constable Jazz Yewen said Mr Milburn was "well known" to the emergency services, having notched up 56 recorded offences.
Dr Stolte said young adults could develop cerebral infarctions – where part of the brain becomes 'dead' due to loss of blood supply – if they consume a lot of alcohol.
"More than 400 [mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood] is an amount that can cause a coma, respiratory failure and cerebral infarction," she said.
The inquest also heard there was some suggestion Mr Milburn had drunk anti-freeze in the hours preceding his death, although Dr Stolte said it was difficult to say for sure. Medical records showed he had been known to drink petrol in the past.
Dr Carlyon recorded a verdict of death by natural causes; cause of death was said to be cerebral infarction due to chronic alcoholism.