A ‘loving' dad was found dead after collapsing in a hedge after suffering a heart attack brought on by the use of cocaine.
Shaun Sweet had been heading to work through a shortcut he regularly use when he took unwell and collapsed into the hedgerow.
The 49-year-old’s body was discovered by friend who used Shaun’s dog Kizzi to search for him a week after he went missing, reports Cornwall Live .
An inquest into his death heard how Shaun was a “very fit and active” man, but his lifestyle was often blighted by heavy drug use.
The decorator and labourer was believed to have been intoxicated by drink just days before his disappearance.
He was known to use drugs such as heroin and methadone.
Because of the chaotic lifestyle he led it was not unusual for him to sleep off alcohol by curling under a hedge and it was not until almost two weeks had passed that he was reported missing.
Speaking at the inquest, pathologist James Garvican said toxicology tests revealed no traces of alcohol in his bloodstream but traces of opiates well within the therapeutic range which would therefore not have led to any overdose.
Dr Garvican said that from the way Shaun's body had decomposed, he would have been in the field's hedge for several days.
However, he told the inquest that a postmortem examination revealed scarring on his heart, which could have formed following previous non-fatal heart attacks.
He said that the damage to his heart muscle could have been caused by cocaine or crack cocaine use at some point in his life.
Shaun's friends and family who attended the hearing confirmed that he had "dabbled in street drugs" and had taken crack cocaine in the six months before his death.
Dr Garvican said: "There is no safe level of cocaine use. It can cause small heart attacks that people don't know about for some time. Heart fibrosis can set in and at some point in the future there is a risk that the heart can beat in an irregular fashion and can lead to a person falling over and dying."
Shaun's body was discovered on April 27 but is understood to have gone out to work setting out across fields as he always did on the April 19.
The family of the 49-year-old said that despite his use of drugs and alcohol in the past, he was a loving dad who was well liked in the area and a super fit man who walked or cycled everywhere he went.
The cause of his death was found as heart attack and cocaine use.
Recording a drug-related death conclusion, assistant coroner Guy Davies said: "Shaun Sweet died on his way to work. Examination of tissue samples showed that he had fibrosis scarring most likely caused by cocaine use which could have led to the development of muscle damage to his heart.
"There is no safe level of cocaine usage which is known to cause potential damage to the heart which in turn may lead to deaths as a result of a heart attack."
Following the hearing his family and friend issued a statement saying: "Despite the lifestyle he had led, Shaun was a very fit and active man who led a meaningful life.
"He was loved by many people and will be sadly missed by his friends and family."