Stephen Chidawa, known by many as ‘Stavo’, was found by his wife unresponsive in bed at their Gipton home at around noon on October 21 last year. The 45-year-old had finished a night shift and had gone to bed that morning.
A post-mortem revealed he had a “profound and fatal” level of alcohol in his system – the equivalent of being five times over the drink-drive limit.
However, an inquest into his death held at Wakefield Coroner’s Court this week heard evidence from his wife and a work colleague, who both said he showed no signs of being in drink that day and there were no empty bottles in the house. Stacy Chidawa, whom he was married to for 15 years, said he enjoyed a social drink but remains adamant he was not drinking secretly and knew instantly when he was drunk.
In addition, senior coroner Kevin McLoughlin said in such deaths, attending paramedics submit notes concerning the detection of alcohol on a patient, but none were received.
Recording an open verdict, he said: “It would be easier to fathom if you found lots of empty alcohol bottles but there was nothing. I would expect paramedics to say there was a profound smell of alcohol from him but there was no mention of it.