A POPULAR security guard died from alcohol poisoning in hospital.

Kevin Cottam had been staying at a hostel in St Catherine’s Terrace, Hove, where he was found collapsed.

The 31-year-old had been battling for several years against his alcohol addiction.

At an inquest into his death, coroner Veronica Hamilton-Deeley told family members and friends that there was nothing more they could have done to support him.

She said those battling alcoholism could often face trouble finding help for rehabilitation treatment and said health services were often “strict about catchment areas”.

It was revealed that Mr Cottam had returned to see friends in Berkshire but was not able to get immediate access to treatment services there and had to return to Sussex, where he was registered.

He had lived at Broadmarsh Lane, Rustington, but friends feared he was away from support networks.

They had set up a Whatsapp group to try to support him but Mr Cottam was seriously unwell.

Meanwhile Mr Cottam’s parents Ian and Jacky said they both had done everything they could to help their son over a prolonged period.

Mr Cottam described his son as a “popular and lovely lad” who had lots of personal abilities and who was able to bring people together.

At the inquest held at Woodvale in Brighton, the court heard that Mr Cottam had started a career as an analyst at Panasonic in Berkshire.

But after being signed off work and being given counselling, concerns were raised and he was paid off.

His parents said they tried to support him, even buying a breathalyser.

But it was exhausting and they said they could never be totally sure if their son was being truthful.

Despite this, Mr Cottam loved his new job as a security guard, even though it surprised his family who say he was a “lover not a fighter”.

Ms Hamilton-Deeley said alcoholism is an illness and that sadly Mr Cottam had moved into a “terminal phase” and had struggled to engage with the help on offer.

She said: “I’m not entirely sure he had the proper capacity to make decisions at that stage.”

Coroner’s officer Claire Rogers said Mr Cottam was found collapsed after being seen drinking heavily over several days on September 1 last year.

Paramedics were unable to revive him and he was pronounced dead at the Royal Sussex County Hospital in Brighton.

The coroner recorded a conclusion of misadventure as she said it was not clear that Mr Cottam intended to take his own life.

A cause of death was given as a heart attack, caused by high alcohol toxicity, from Mr Cottam’s alcohol dependency.

He had also been diagnosed with depression.

The coroner told family and friends: “There is nothing to be gained by beating yourself up about it, it is not what Kevin would have wanted.

“I don’t know whether anyone could have done anything more.

“He would have valued your friendship, love and support.

“So it is best to remember him in the good days.”