Thursday 22 August 2019

Coroner rules insufficient evidence for suicide verdict in inquest into death of Prodigy star Keith Flint

Keith Flint from The Prodigy (Andrew Milligan/PA)
Keith Flint from The Prodigy (Andrew Milligan/PA)

**WARNING: This article contains sensitive content and references to suicide throughout

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 March 4.

Coroner’s officer Linda Calder told Wednesday’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.

Essex Senior Coroner Caroline Beasley-Murray recorded an open conclusion, adding that “we will never quite know what was going on in his mind on that date”.

She said 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.”

Fans of Keith Flint at the late singer’s funeral at St Mary’s Church in Bocking, Essex (Joe Giddens/PA)

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.

(Left to right) Gene Gallagher, Rachel Howlett and Ace Howlett after Keith Flint’s funeral (Joe Giddens/PA)

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

Flint rose to fame in the 1990s in the Brit Award-winning electronic band, who were known for hits including Firestarter and Breathe.

They released their latest album, No Tourists, last November, their seventh consecutive number one record.

Flint was described in a statement by bandmates Liam Howlett and Maxim as “a true pioneer, innovator and legend”.

They said he was their “brother and best friend” and “he will be forever missed”.

He had taken part in the 5k Chelmsford Central parkrun on March 2, posting a personal best time of 21 minutes and 22 seconds.

If you have been affected by any of the issues raised in this article please contact Samaritans helpline 116 123 or Aware helpline 1800 80 48 48 or Pieta House on 1800 247 247.

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