Man, 36, died after consuming too much caffeine, inquest hears

The deceased deliberately consumed a significant and fatal quantity of caffeine, inquest hears

Matt Mathers
Friday 03 July 2020 20:45
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Man died by misadventure, coroner ruled
Man died by misadventure, coroner ruled

A man died by misadventure after he consumed too much caffeine, an inquest has heard.

Lukasz Sandelewski, 36, was found unresponsive in his room at the shared house where he lived in Scotney Street, Peterborough, after his concerned mother contacted one of his housemates on 5 December 2019.

His room was “very cluttered with lots of empty drinking vessels on the floor”, said Cambridgeshire assistant coroner Sean Horstead, but it was “unclear” how he consumed the caffeine.

Mr Sandelewski, a welder from Poland, was found to have a significant quantity of caffeine per millilitre of blood.

Recording a conclusion of misadventure, Mr Horstead said: “Lukasz Sandelewski was found deceased at his home address. It’s unclear how or by what means the deceased consumed very significant levels of caffeine, but caffeine toxicity is the cause of his death.

“His death was the unintended consequence of a deliberate act. He deliberately consumed a significant and fatal quantity of caffeine but I’m satisfied the consequences of that weren’t intended by him.”

He said there was no evidence that Mr Sandelewski intended to end his life and there was no suicide note. The documentary inquest, heard via Skype, was told that Mr Sandelewski returned home at around 1am on 5 December and was heard speaking on the telephone through the night until around 7am.

“At least it was presumed he was on the telephone,” said Mr Horstead. “He was shouting and talking loudly. The following evening ... one of the housemates received a message on Facebook from Lukasz’s mother asking to check where he was as she called him and didn’t get a response.

“The housemate then went to his room and found him apparently deceased. He contacted the police.”

Mr Sandelewski was face down on the floor by his mattress and his room was “very cluttered with lots of empty drinking vessels on the floor”, Mr Horstead said. Police found no visible injuries to Mr Sandelewski.

Mr Horstead said there was “some suggestion from housemates” that Mr Sandelewski “did drink quite a bit of alcohol frequently”. Tests found he had 112 milligrams of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood in his system at the time of his death.

Mr Horstead said this was over the drink-drive limit of 80 milligrams of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood “but not dramatically”, adding it was: “A level of intoxication but nothing more”.

He extended his “sincerest, heartfelt condolences” to Mr Sandelewski’s family.

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