Troubled cook struggled with drink problem — (The Sentinel)

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The Sentinel

Posted: July 05, 2013

By Sentinel reporter

A KIND but troubled caterer died from an overdose of prescription drugs after years battling an alcohol problem.

Hardworking Scott Walton had a loving family and an ex-girlfriend he maintained a close friendship with.

But the adopted 37-year-old began to binge drink and struggled with depression; sometimes going missing from home for ‘weeks at a time’.

Now his parents are grieving for a ‘kind and well-educated’ son, after he was found dead at his home in Dibden Court, Honeywall.

An inquest yesterday heard that he died of an overdose of the anti-depressant mirtazapine on June 18 last year.

He had been prescribed the medication on one occasion the previous year.

Mr Walton’s adopted father, Kenneth Walton, of South Bank Avenue, Shavington, told the hearing at North Staffordshire Coroner’s Court: “He was very well liked by a lot of people and we thought a lot of him. He is missed.

“We adopted Scott at the age of six. When he first came to us he was very nervous, he had experienced a bad upbringing up until then.

“But he seemed to calm down, and when he realised he had got a stable home, he was a normal boy.

“He became very well educated. He went to Shavington High School and then Malbank Sixth Form at Nantwich.”

Mr Walton had worked as waiter at Stapeley Water Gardens, then Leighton Hospital, as a caterer.

He had lived with his girlfriend Michelle Hunt at her home in Woodhouse Street, Stoke, until the pair separated about three years before his death. They remained close and saw each other most evenings.

Miss Hunt said: “Scott was a kind person and he was hard working. About three months after he moved in with me he went missing. I had not realised he had a drink problem. He would hide it in cordial. He would say he had not had a drink, but you could tell he had. Eventually I had to ask him to leave.”

The inquest heard Mr Walton had apparently not been taking the drug he was prescribed.

He had not been seen by family or friends for several days when Miss Hunt asked police to investigate.

He was discovered after officers forced entry to his home. A post mortem found virtually no alcohol in his system, but potentially fatal levels of mirtazapine.

North Staffordshire coroner Ian Smith said it appeared he had taken the majority of his medication in one dose.

However, Mr Smith recorded an open verdict. He said: “Have I sufficient evidence to be sure Scott intended to take his own life? The answer is no. We don’t know what was in his mind.”