Inquest held into the death of a Hethersett songwriter

Norfolk Coroner's Court in Norwich. Photo by Simon Finlay

Norfolk Coroner's Court in Norwich. Photo by Simon Finlay - Credit: Archant Norfolk

A songwriter found to have suffered a stroke after he did not turn up for Christmas dinner at a friend's house later died from a complication in hospital, an inquest has heard.

The inquest into the death of 64-year-old Paul Beckwith, from Glengarry Close, Hethersett, was held at Norfolk Corner's Court in Norwich today.

It heard that Mr Beckwith's close friend Alan Hulcoop and his wife had gone to Mr Beckwith's bungalow on December 25 last year when he had not arrived for Christmas lunch with them and he had failed to return phone calls, and that Mr Hulcoop had found his friend collapsed in his bedroom and with newspapers building up at his front door dating from December 19 to 24.

Paramedics took Mr Beckwith to the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital and he was diagnosed with having suffered a moderate to severe stoke.

In summing up statements read out at the inquest, Jacqueline Lake, senior coroner for Norfolk, said: 'Consideration was given to take him to Addenbrooke's Hospital but it was felt he was not for medical procedure and he continued to receive standard stroke care at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital.'

She said on December 27 a nasogastric tube (NGT) had been inserted to help Mr Beckwith with feeding but that he had pulled it out. Medical staff had attempted to insert an NGT a further three times but each time Mr Beckwith had pulled out the tube. On December 29 Mr Beckwith's condition deteriorated, and an x-ray showed Mr Beckwith had suffered a perforated bowel. A similar x-ray taken on admission to the hospital showed no perforation.

Ms Lake said: 'It is not known if the perforation was caused on the insertion of the nasogastric tube or when the tube was pulled out.'

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A statement from NNUH consultant stroke physician Dr Naval Shinh, read out earlier in the inquest, stated the NGT had been inserted in accordance with the correct standards and the appropriate checks were carried out.

Mr Beckwith's condition further deteriorated and he died on December 29. Following a post-mortem examination the medical cause of his death was given as 1a. perforated duodenum secondary to medical intervention, 1b. right cerebral infarct and 1c. right internal carotid artery thrombus. Ms Lake recorded a narrative conclusion that Mr Beckwith died from 'a rare but recognised complication of a necessary medical procedure.'

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