Tributes to ‘lovely and caring’ Pontins employee found unresponsive

Suffolk Coroners Court in Ipswich Picture: ADAM HOWLETT

Suffolk Coroners Court in Ipswich Picture: ADAM HOWLETT - Credit: Archant

A 42-year-old Pontins employee ‘with a heart of gold’ who was discovered unconscious in a room at the Kessingland holiday park died from a drug overdose, a coroner has concluded.

Mark Butler, from Lowestoft, was found unresponsive on the bed of a chalet on the evening of December 17, 2018, having been reported missing to police the day before.

His disappearance sparked a large-scale search operation, including the Lowestoft Lifeboat and the Suffolk Lowland Search and Rescue.

An inquest into his death, at Suffolk Coroner's Court in Ipswich, heard he was found unresponsive, with laboured breathing, and was rushed to the James Paget Hospital where he was put onto ventilation.

Scans later showed Mr Butler had suffered a hypoxic brain injury as a result of a cardiac arrest and was moved into palliative care.

He died on January 28 at the hospital.

Assistant coroner Dan Sharpstone said his medical cause of death was multi-organ failure and hypoxic brain injury as a result of hypothermia.

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Following his death, a crowdfunding page was set up to help pay for Mr Butler's funeral - raising almost £800.

The fundraising page describes Mr Butler as an 'absolutely lovely, caring guy with a heart of gold' and says he would 'go out of his way to help anyone with anything'.

The tribute reads: "Mark was well known in Lowestoft community and beyond for so many reasons varying from; bodybuilding, working at Pontins and as a doorman at various club and pubs, the love of his Harley Davidson motorbikes and for lots of people from being at school together for many years."

Dr Sharpstone told the inquest although Mr Butler had visited his GP previously suffering from poor sleep, he did not have any prior history of depression.

"It's apparent Mark took overdoses immediately preceding his death," he said.

"I don't have any evidence he had expressed suicidiation [suicidal thoughts].

"Whilst it is clear a drug overdose is what led to his death, it is not clear there was intention to take his own life."

Mr Sharpstone concluded Mr Butler died as the result of a multi-drug overdose.