‘Natural causes’ inquest finding

Clive David Illing
Clive David Illing
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AN inquest into the death of a Gulf War Army veteran who suffered with post-traumatic stress disorder has found that he died of natural causes.

Former Padbury man Clive David Illing, known to his friends as Dave, aged 50, died suddenly at his parents’ home in August.

A post-mortem examination revealed he died as a result of a fatty liver from drinking too much alcohol over a long 
period of time.

Mr Illing served as a corporal in the Royal Hussars during the 1991 Gulf War and came home from war “very disturbed,” 
according to his father.

David Illing Snr, aged 79, told a hearing in Beaconsfield on Monday: “He took to alcohol to forget what he had seen and done.

“I think alcohol was the cure for what he had seen.

“It became an addiction and then it became a killer.” Clive Illing was found dead by his bed at the family home in Padbury on August 26.

A toxicology report on his body found only 66mg of alcohol in 100ml of blood, which coroner Richard Hulett said was not enough to kill him.

But the autopsy revealed the ex-soldier had a severely fatty liver from his years of heavy drinking, which may have led to his untimely death.

Paying tribute, Mr Illing Snr said: “If my son had come back from the Gulf missing a leg, everyone would have seen it and it would have been treated.

“But if you come back with a damaged memory or mind, you are forgotten.”

Recording a verdict of death due to natural causes, coroner Richard Hulett said: “When he came back from the military, he really took to alcohol to compensate with what had happened.

“It’s well-documented this set of circumstances leads to sudden death. Because it is use of alcohol over a long time, we call it a natural death.”