A fitness fanatic was crushed to death by weight training equipment as he worked out in his garage.

Landlord Oliver Steer found the body of his lodger, Chris Bailey, in his garage in Mill Close, Portslade, after Mr Bailey had decided to go for a workout in the early hours of the morning.

Mr Bailey had only bought the work-out bench six weeks ago to save money instead of joining a gym.

Yesterday P&O caterer Mr Steer paid tribute to his 28-year-old lodger as “a lovely kid”.

He said he and Mr Bailey, who had lived at the property for the last three months, had been drinking until 3am on Saturday when Mr Steer, 57, decided to go to bed.

When he woke in the morning, he found the lounge light on, the front door open and the garage light on.

He said: “I found him on the bench with the bar across his chest.

“I tried to wake him but I knew he was dead.

“I had to try and lift the weight off him which wasn’t easy because it was so heavy.

“I tried to resuscitate him but he was gone.

“Police told me he must have been dead for at least five hours when I found him.

“I don’t think he had gone to bed. He was still wearing the same clothes.”

Mr Steer said that Mr Bailey was originally from Nottingham and had been living above the Mill House pub in Mill Lane, Portslade, before moving in with him and another lodger.

Mr Bailey was working at a bakery in Portslade.

He said: “He was right into his fitness stuff, he had a bike and he loved to ride it.

“He should never have tried to lift weights those heavy by himself, he should have had someone to spot him.

“I hope he rests in peace but that people learn how dangerous these weights can be.”

Paramedics were initially called to the home at just after noon on Saturday.

Sussex Police were then called at 12.50pm and detectives investigated because of the man’s age and his sudden death.

Officers said there was no evidence at the scene that a crime had taken place The death is being treated as unexplained until the results of a post-mortem examination, which is due to take place today, are known.

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