Inquest: James Morrison’s dad drank himself to death in six-month binge

December 6, 2010 | by | 0 Comments

Singer James Morrison’s alcoholic dad drank himself to death in a six month booze binge, an inquest heard today.

Paul Catchpole, 60, died of liver disease after a 20-year battle with alcohol.

His body was discovered by paramedics in his squalid flat surrounded by empty beer cans and takeaway boxes at 9am on August 25.

Less than an hour earlier he had collapsed on his way home from the off-licence with a bag full of lager.

The inquest at Coventry Coroner’s Court was told Paul had been drinking ”continually” for six months before his death.

A post mortem revealed he had drunk so much his liver was transforming into fat.

James’ older sister Nicky Catchpole, 42, told the hearing: ”My dad went through phases of being on benders and then totally straight.

”The most recent bender before he died was the worst one he ever had.

”He was on a drinking binge for six months. It was continual drinking from morning until night and not eating.”

Less than hour before his death, Paul went to the off-licence near his home in Rugby, Warks., where he bought dozens of cans of lager.

But as he walked back to his flat he collapsed just yards from his front door and a passer-by helped him into bed before telling a neighbour to dial 999.

An ambulance came minutes later but paramedics were unable to save him.

The inquest heard Paul died of liver disease caused by excessive alcohol abuse.

Recording a verdict of death by natural causes, Coventry and Warwickshire coroner Sean McGovern said: ”Alcohol is a legal drug and you drink alcohol and if it causes you death that is natural causes.

”This is something that has occurred over a period of time.

”The impression I get is that Mr Catchpole was drinking to excess over a period of time.

”The liver doesn’t work as well as it should because it is gradually turning into fat and that changes over time and can cause death as it has here.”

Paul, who worked as a painter and decorator, split from James’ mum Suzy when he was four years old.

But the You Give Me Something star remained close to his dad and visited regularly.

Months before the tragedy the 26-year-old said he rang his dad every week to ”check he’s still alive”.

Months before Paul died, James said: ”He’s an alcoholic but he’s a sweetheart, really. He copes with problems the only way he knows how.

The star, who did not attend yesterday’s inquest, cancelled a concert in New York to fly home for his dad’s funeral in September.

Verdict: Natural causes.

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