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Builder whose body was found in car on A140 had taken a cocktail of drink and drugs, inquest hears

PUBLISHED: 13:42 23 August 2019 | UPDATED: 13:42 23 August 2019

The opening of Jack Waple's inquest was held at Norfolk coroner's court. Picture: David Bale

The opening of Jack Waple's inquest was held at Norfolk coroner's court. Picture: David Bale

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A builder who died in a lay-by off the A140 in north Norfolk had taken a cocktail of drink and drugs, an inquest heard.

Raymond Meakins, 56, died on February 22 in Erpingham, near Aylsham, an inquest at Norfolk Coroner's Court was told.

Mr Meakins' body was found in his car, south of the junction with Church Road.

The inquest on Friday, August 23 heard that Mr Meakins left several notes in his car stating his intentions.

Area coroner for Norfolk, Yvonne Blake said these related to his financial difficulties and the fact he had not worked for a long time.

He had also spent a lot of money on Lottery tickets in a desperate bid to win the jackpot and clear his debts, she said.

In one of the notes he said: "I'm done and finished with it."

Alcohol bottles were also found in the car.

A statement from Martin Morris, an agricultural engineer, was read to the court.

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Mr Morris left his home in Aldborough at about 7.45am on February 22 to travel to Sheringham.

He drove along the A140 and saw a black Renault Megane parked in the lay-by.

He said: "There was a man in the driver's seat who appeared to be asleep."

He did not think it particularly unusual, as he had previously seen people asleep in their cars on the lay-by, he said.

On his return journey he noticed the car was still there, and the man in the same position.

He initially drove by but then returned to see if the man was all right.

Looking inside the car there was no response from the man, and he added: "He was fully clothed and his seatbelt was not on. There were about 10 parking tickets on the dashboard."

Mr Morris dialled 999 and the ambulance crew pronounced Mr Meakins dead.

Ms Blake said a toxicology report found that Mr Meakins, of Swan Grove, in Chappel, Colchester, had five times the drink-drive legal limit of alcohol in his blood.

The cause of death was given as drug toxicity and Ms Blake's conclusion was suicide.

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