‘Happy-go-lucky’ man found dead at Ridley Road Market

Ridley Road market in Dalston.

Ridley Road market in Dalston. - Credit: Archant

Tributes have been paid to a well-known “happy-go-lucky” figure who was found dead at Ridley Road Market.

Sean White was found in the storage area near Sandringham Road where traders keep their stalls and trolleys just before the market opened on March 10.

Poplar Coroner’s Court heard at his inquest how the 35-year -old was wearing a hospital name tag from admission to Homerton Hospital the previous day, which confirmed his identity, and still had a cannula in his arm.

Mr White, who was homeless and slept regularly in the area, was found lying in the street the previous day with fluctuating consciousness, incomprehensible speech and a laceration to the back of his head.

On admission to Homerton Hospital he was found to have a level of alcohol in his blood so high that it could cause a coma.

He was admitted to the

acute care unit but he discharged himself against medical advice.

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A post-mortem found his lungs were waterlogged and congested, and the cause of death was

recorded as respiratory depression due to acute alcohol intoxication.

Coroner William Dolman said: “The investigating police officer discovered he was known to binge drink and was prone to seizures witnessed by the market traders.

“The seizures were probably linked to alcohol consumption, he most probably had more to drink when he left hospital, his blood alcohol was higher than the previous day.

“This death was alcohol related, he had probably been asleep in a position that compromised his breathing – lying unconscious stops the lungs from working properly.”

Speaking after his inquest, his mother Ann Kerr told the Gazette how he she would sometimes take her son his favourite dishes to Ridley Road, and how he “practically lived” at the market where he had lots of friends and would do odd jobs.

She said: “If there were new stall holders at the market he used to say: ‘This is my mum.’

“Everybody liked Sean, he was always jovial.

“He always made everyone laugh no matter what the subject was, he just took each day as it came and enjoyed himself.

“He wouldn’t settle anywhere, he liked to be free, he lived every day the way he wanted to.”

His sister Natasha White said: “The stallholders became like his other family, they were very close to Sean and he was very close to them.

“He loved women, he loved to drink, he loved to laugh, he was a comedian and a happy-go-lucky chap.”

She added: “He did everything he wanted to do, only he could have stopped what happened to him.”