A man who died in Sudbury last year after crashing into a tree was more than twice the legal alcohol limit, an inquest heard.

The inquest into the death of Thomas Stratton from Acton was brought to a close on Friday.

Mr Stratton, 36, died on June 3 last year in Acton Lane.

Those gathered at Suffolk Coroners’ Court in Ipswich heard that Mr Stratton, a gas engineer, had spent the day working the Friday before he died.

At around 4pm, he headed to the Cock & Bell in Long Melford with a friend, the pair of them having agreed to move some furniture at the pub.

Mr Stratton had intended to meet his girlfriend and cook her dinner, but sent her a message apologising for being late, saying he had been held up helping to move the furniture at the pub.

The couple had been together for around two months and were planning a holiday in Brighton.

Mr Stratton and his friend had several pints at the pub before going to the Co-op store to buy more alcohol with two others, before going back to his home in Acton.

Some hours later, Mr Stratton left the address in a black BMW belonging to his friend.

The accident, which involved no other vehicles, is believed to have happened in the early hours of June 3. Emergency services were called to the scene but were unable to revive Mr Stratton.

A toxicology report showed that Mr Stratton’s blood contained 207mg of alcohol per 100ml. The legal limit is 80mg.

He also had cocaine in his system consistent with recreational use, the inquest heard. 

Giving evidence in court on Friday was forensic collision investigator Dean Webb.

PC Webb said it is likely that something occurred just before Mr Stratton hit the tree which caused him to lose control of the car, but that evidence from the scene could not explain exactly what had happened.

Senior coroner for Suffolk Nigel Parsley ruled that Mr Stratton died as the result of a road traffic collision. He ended proceedings by passing on his sincere condolences to Mr Stratton’s family.