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"Chronic cocaine use" killed vegan chef

Monday 20 January 2020

"Chronic cocaine use" killed vegan chef


A head chef working in Guernsey died because of his "chronic cocaine usage", Guernsey's Court has heard at his inquest.

46-year-old Steven Phillips was found dead in an armchair at his home on Friday 1 November, the afternoon after a work night out.

He had enough cocaine in his blood to indicate he was a "chronic" user of the drug, despite the Court being told he lived a generally healthy lifestyle, as a vegan who regularly went to the gym.

After his night out, Mr Phillips only got home at around 04:30, when his partner text him, and then went out from their house and found him drunk outside a nearby shop. His partner helped him to bed, and then went to sleep on the sofa. At around 08:15, she tried to wake him up because he had work, but he was still drunk. She left for work, and called him at 08:40, when he said he was getting up. 

Later in the day, he didn't answer a further phone call, and when his partner returned home, she found Mr Phillips sat in an arm chair with his feet up, dead. 

The inquest in to how he died first opened on Friday 29 November last year, but was adjourned for toxicology examinations to be done. 

These results showed that the level of cocaine in his blood was 1.13mg in a litre - an amount toward the higher end of that found in normal recreational users, but slightly lower than the usual amount found in fatalities. 

A reexamination of Mr Phillips also found cocaine induced ulceration in his nose, something the Court heard was a sign of "chronic use". Judge Gary Perry was told that deaths because of just cocaine toxicity were rare, but this was one of those causes. The drug had caused "sudden cardiac death". 

The Court concluded Phillips had died from cocaine toxicity, and that it was an accidental death. 

Pictured top: The Inquest was closed on Friday. 

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Posted by Alex Godson on
A very kind man and a great chef. He will be missed by many. RIP
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