Death of Boston electrician 'remains a mystery', South Lincolnshire Coroner rules
MYSTERY continues to surround the sudden death of an otherwise healthy man while he was working in an East Lincolnshire hamlet.
On March 19 this year, Kevin Nigel Dell, a self-employed electrician, was found dead at the sewage treatment sub-station at Midville.
A father of two children – aged seven and four – Mr Dell, known as Kev, was just 38.
At the inquest on Thursday, South Lincolnshire Coroner Prof Robert Forest ruled that Mr Dell had died of natural causes, while acknowledging a post-mortem report which described the death as "unexplained".
In evidence, Dr Michael Harris, a consultant pathologist at Peterborough City Hospital, said that, apart from slight enlargement of part of a heart muscle, Mr Dell had been an otherwise healthy man.
Because he had suffered night seizures for a short while as a 10-year-old, the doctor did not rule out the possibility of sudden death from epilepsy, but cases of sudden adult death syndrome are rare.
In addition, there had been no recurrence of seizures since the age of 15 when he had been given the all-clear to cease taking medication for the condition.
The inquest heard that, at the time of his death, Mr Dell, of Garfitts Drive, Boston had been replacing an electrical box that automatically activated pumps at the sewage plant which serves New Linx Housing Trust properties on Station Road, Midville.
While on site, he met two operatives from Bates Environmental who had also been working at the same location.
It was when one of the pair, David Curtis, went to say goodbye that he discovered Mr Dell lying on the ground with his screwdrivers and other tools nearby.
Evidence was also heard from Martin Giles, a Health and Safety Executive inspector, who examined the electrical box before authorising its dispatch to a specialist laboratory in Derby.
The inquest, held at Boston Courthouse, heard there was no evidence of Mr Dell having sustained burns, nor was there any traces of his skin on the tools.
Although he could not prove that the Boston man had not been electrocuted during the course of his work, Mr Giles said there was nothing to suggest that this might have been the case.
Boston-born Mr Dell was a former pupil of St Thomas' School, then Kitwood Boys'. He was a football fan and supported both Nottingham Forest and Boston United.
Evidence was also heard from his partner of 10 years, Emma Bayliss.
In response to a question she asked of the coroner, he agreed that it would be advisable for the couple's two children to undergo medical checks to establish whether any genetic condition might have been passed down from their father.
The coroner concluded by offering his deepest condolence to the family. He said: "This is an absolute tragedy. There is no other word for it.
"Although we do not know exactly why Mr Dell died, the balance of probability is that it was the result of natural causes."
Speaking afterwards, Mr Dell's father, Basil, said he was pleased that the coroner's verdict would lay to rest unfounded rumours that his son might have electrocuted himself.