Harpenden man’s death wasn’t due to carbon monoxide

Coroner's Court.

Coroner's Court. - Credit: Archant

A 50-year-old man died of a heart attack after feeling unwell and breathless for a few days, an inquest heard last Wednesday.

Martyn Knight, of Harpenden, passed away on February 5 and was found by his sister Sara sitting on his sofa in front of the television wearing headphones.

The Church Green resident had not turned up to a doctor’s appointment he had booked due to recurrent nose bleeds and had failed to get in touch with his sister, which prompted her to go and check on him.

Herts Coroner Edward Thomas said the siblings saw each other most days and Sara had noticed her brother’s health deteriorate in the weeks leading up to his death.

Martyn, who previously received help for a problematic heart valve, used to walk from his flat to his sister’s house but reportedly became too breathless to take on the journey.

Initially there were concerns he had died due to carbon monoxide poisoning, which was reported back in February, as on one visit Sara said his eyes were very red and the flat appeared to smell.

A paramedic also thought they could smell something when attending and the fire brigade used a gas detection monitor but the tests came back negative.

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Herts Police and scenes of crime officers also tested the atmosphere which turned out to be fine, and a post-mortem ruled out carbon monoxide poisoning.

The significant finding was in the heart which was grossly overweight, while his lungs, liver and spleen were congested.

Mr Thomas said the organ congestion explained the breathlessness and would have caused cardiac failure. He ruled that the death was due to natural causes.