A MAN struggling with alcohol addiction hit his head after falling on the beach and later died in hospital.

Gary Taylor was homeless and unemployed when he died after hitting his head on the beach in Eastbourne.

An inquest into his death last week heard he was known to have a long standing alcohol addiction and had been drinking with a friend the day he fell.

The 39-year-old was found alone and unconscious on the pebbles by a couple, who called 999.

The paramedics took him to Royal Sussex County Hospital where he later died from his head injuries last September.

His mother, Linda Sworn, said he was a “lovely lad and so popular among the homeless community”.

But he regularly had seizures due to his chronic drinking habit.

She said: “For the last six years he had to drink as soon as he woke up.

“We got him on to the 12 step programme.

“He would do really well for some months but then he would be back on the bottle.

“There’s just not the facilities and the help to support people struggling with alcohol addiction. There is a huge hole in the system.”

She told the court her son would regularly have a fit if he did not consume enough alcohol. His normal intake was about 20 to 30 units a day, but on a bender he would have about three litres of vodka.

While she believes a seizure caused him to fall that day, assistant coroner for Brighton and Hove Catharine Palmer said there was not enough evidence to prove whether he fell from a seizure or just lost his balance when walking along the pebbles.

Dr Steven Drage, from Sussex Partnership Trust, told the court his risk of swelling and bleeding in the brain after hitting his head was big given his low platelet count, a condition seen in heavy drinkers.

And the extensive swelling shown means he would have knocked himself unconscious almost immediately.

Ms Palmer said: “He suffered a chronic brain injury which was complicated by his alcohol addiction and low platelet levels.”

The cause of Mr Taylor’s death was recorded as a head injury, chronic alcoholism and low platelets with liver sclerosis as a contributory factor.

She gave a narrative conclusion saying on the balance of probabilities, his serious alcohol addiction, low platelet levels and a history of seizures and falls resulted in his death. Mr Taylor’s family said they would like to thank Sussex Police for their help and Kelvin Giscombe and Nicola Birchill, who found him on the beach.