Father who died in King’s Lynn night club had an undiagnosed heart condition, inquest hears

A young father who collapsed during a night out in King's Lynn died from an undiagnosed heart condition aggravated by alcohol and cocaine use, an inquest has heard.

Richard Warden, 34, was celebrating his fiance's birthday when he suffered a heart attack in Chicago's night club in the early hours of July 29 last year.

Door staff performed first aid and chest compressions, but he was pronounced dead at the town's Queen Elizabeth Hospital later that morning, the hearing was told today (Thursday).

Greater Norfolk coroner William Armstrong said Mr Warden, a caterer, had died accidentally from a combination of medical causes and the use of cocaine and alcohol.

'Richard was no saint and could be a challenging character on occasions,' Mr Armstrong said. 'But he was a loving partner and dad.

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'The alcohol use was not grossly excessive and the level of cocaine was within the limits of recreational use.'

Mr Warden's fiance, Sarah Wojtowich, said they had gone out with friends at about 8pm on July 28 and he had been drinking double vodkas with coke.

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He had bought a gram of cocaine before they headed to the Norfolk Street club at about 11.45pm, she said.

'Richard told me he hadn't taken it, but I should imagine he did,' Miss Wojtowich added.

They had been in Chicago's for just over an hour when Mr Warden became involved in a scuffle with another man on the dance floor and was seen to throw a punch.

Staff had restrained him and tried to calm him down, but he was thrashing around, Miss Wojtowich said.

Witnesses told the inquest that Mr Warden had gone on to the stage behind the DJ booth just before he collapsed forward on to the floor.

In the weeks before his death, Miss Wojtowich said he had complained of pains in his groin, had passed blood and experienced night sweats.

'He was not the sort of person to go to the doctor,' she said. 'He made out he was fine.'

Miss Wojtowich added: 'He was the love of my life. We were trying to move on and grow up.'

Mr Warden, who was living at Tipps End near Welney, also leaves a baby daughter, Grace, and a step-son.

In 2005, he was one of a number of family members and friends jailed for their role in a major drugs ring. He was among those sentenced to ten years for their part in the crime.

Mr Warden's parents did not attend the inquest.

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