Prodigy star took drugs before death, inquest finds

Keith Flint was found dead in his home in Essex on 4 March. Picture: Steffen Schmidt/Keystone
Keith Flint was found dead in his home in Essex on 4 March. Picture: Steffen Schmidt/Keystone
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Prodigy star Keith Flint died by hanging and had unspecified amounts of cocaine, alcohol and codeine in his system at the time, an inquest has heard.

The 49-year-old was found dead at his home in the Essex hamlet of North End on 4 March.

Coroner’s officer Linda Calder told yesterday’s brief inquest hearing in Chelmsford: “Mr Flint was found at his home address by a friend, hanging from a beam.”

She said a post-mortem examination recorded that the singer died by hanging, and the report also noted the presence of cocaine, alcohol and codeine.

Senior Coroner for Essex Caroline Beasley-Murray recorded an open conclusion into his death, adding there was not enough evidence to say he had taken his own life.

She said: “We will never quite know what was going on in his mind on that date”.

Flint’s family and band manager were aware of the hearing but did not wish to attend. The hearing was held in their absence, with no witnesses called to give evidence in person.

Police attended the much-loved singer’s home and found there were no suspicious circumstances and no third party involvement, Ms Beasley-Murray said.

Explaining how she reached her conclusion, she said: “I’ve considered suicide.

“To record that, I would have to have found that, on the balance of probabilities, Mr Flint formed the idea and took a deliberate action knowing it would result in his death.

“Having regard to all the circumstances I don’t find that there’s enough evidence for that.”

She also found insufficient evidence to conclude his death was an accident, where he may have been “larking around and it all went horribly wrong”.

“I’m going to conclude an open conclusion,” she said.

“We will never quite know what was going on in his mind on that date and so that’s why I’m going to record an open conclusion.

“He clearly was extremely popular, he was much-loved by so many fans.

“It’s been very touching to see that, and of course I’m aware of the funeral service that was held in Bocking.”

She asked the coroner’s officer to express the court’s sympathy to his family and to the band manager.

Music fans travelled from as far afield as Australia to gather outside St Mary’s Church in Bocking for Flint’s funeral on 29 March, with festival flags flying and floral tributes piled up in the churchyard, including one of the band’s ant logo.