Dominic Elliott verdict: Coroner concludes that aide had not intended to kill himself when he drank acid at David Hockney's home

'Misadventure' recorded over death as police say two men arrested on suspicion of drugs offences remain on bail as inquiries continue

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The Independent Online

Police are continuing an inquiry into drug use at artist David Hockney's home after a coroner concluded today that one of his assistants had not intended to kill himself when he drank household cleaner.

Dominic Elliott, 23, died after taking ecstasy and cocaine before drinking the acid at the artist's home in Bridlington, East Yorkshire, which perforated his stomach. An inquest heard he had been "partying" with John Fitzherbert, the artist's long-term partner for 20 years and who still runs his domestic affairs.

Humberside police confirmed an investigation was continuing into possible drugs offences and two people arrested on suspicion of drugs offences remained on bail.

The East Yorkshire coroner, Professor Paul Marks, said there was "not a shred of evidence" that the young assistant intended to take his own life in March and recorded a verdict of misadventure.

Mr Hockney had been asleep at the time of the incident. The coroner said he believed that the artist was unaware that some of the occupants of his home were abusing illegal drugs.

Detective Sergeant Thomas Napier, who compiled the file on the death for Humberside Police, told the coroner: "It does remain a mystery - for an intelligent young man to drink such a noxious substance."

Mr Hockney shares his five-bedroom home near the Bridlington seafront with three other men, including Mr Fitzherbert. Mr Elliott's family declined to comment after the inquest.