Pc killed himself after row with boyfriend

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The Independent Online

A police officer killed himself after an argument with his boyfriend, an inquest heard today.

Rhydian Boast, a constable with South Wales Police, was on holiday in Greece when he took a large quantity of heart tablets prescribed to his partner, Dr Matt May.

Despite the frantic efforts of his boyfriend and two accident and emergency nurses who were also on holiday with them, Pc Boast could not be revived and was pronounced dead in hospital during the early hours of June 18 of last year.

An inquest in Newport, south Wales, heard after taking the pills the 28-year-old wrote a letter to his boyfriend in which he said he had taken some tablets which he shouldn't have. He added that he was very sorry and he loved him.

Dr May of the University Hospital of Wales in Cardiff told the inquest he had been in a relationship with Pc Boast for two years before his death.

He said they embarked on a holiday to Kos with some friends on June 14 where the first few days passed "uneventfully".

On the evening of June 17, the group had dinner together before heading into the town for more drinks.

Dr May said a "good drink" was had by all before a row escalated between him and Pc Boast.

Gwent coroner David Bowen asked: "Things started to go downhill and Rhydian Boast started to feel he was neglected?"

Dr May replied: "So he said."

As a result of their row, Pc Boast returned to his hotel room alone and Dr May went to a friend's room.

In the aftermath of the row, Pc Boast sent several texts and attempted to phone his boyfriend several times but they were ignored.

Mr Bowen said to Dr May: "The reason for that (ignoring the phone calls) is that you felt if you let things cool down overnight it would be all right in the morning?"

"That is what I thought," said Dr May.

After the note from Pc Boast about the tablets was slipped under the door, Dr May had to break into his own room via the balcony and there he found an empty blister pack of his heart medication in the sink. There was no sign of Pc Boast however.

Dr May said Pc Boast was later found on the beach experiencing what appeared to be a cardiac arrest.

Along with his two A&E trained friends, Dr May tried in vain to revive Pc Boast before the ambulance arrived, on the journey to the hospital and also in the hospital itself.

"We had done everything we could and we were all exhausted," said Dr May.

"There had been no response for about an hour-and-a-half. He had been on the beach for quite a while."

Dr May said efforts to resuscitate his boyfriend were hampered as the ambulance lacked a defibrillator and the necessary drugs for such a situation.

Cheryl Boast, Rhydian's mother, told the inquest she didn't believe her son would have taken his life deliberately.

"He had everything to live for," said Mrs Boast. "He had a good job and he had just bought a house."

She added: "It was attention seeking."

Dr Majid Rashid, a consultant pathologist at the Royal Gwent Hospital in Newport, said he was unable to ascertain a cause of death because Pc Boast's body had been embalmed.

Mr Bowen said he had a copy of a report from the Greek authorities which stated Pc Boast died as a result of basal acute pulmonary oedema.

He added: "I'm satisfied the medication taken was probably not taken with any intention to end his life but probably to seek attention and sympathy from friends and his partner without any proper appreciation of the consequences.

"There is no doubt whatsoever he took the tablets and there is not a shred of evidence to support the view that he took the tablets with the intention of killing himself."

A verdict of misadventure was recorded. Outside the inquest, Pc Boast's family and friends declined to comment.

Pc Pete Ashby, who worked with Pc Boast on Cardiff Central Neighbourhood Policing Team, said: "He was a great colleague and great friend to all of us."