A HAMPSHIRE man died after suffering a fit in prison years after fleeing the country where he was tortured, an inquest heard.

Kandiah Kugathas was found dead in his cell at HMP Winchester after his cell mate had noticed he had been ill for several days, Southampton Coroner's Court heard.

Central Hampshire Coroner Grahame Short summarised a medical report detailing how he had spent many years battling alcoholism and epilepsy.

The court also heard how the 56-year-old came to this country after seeking asylum in 2000 after he claimed he was tortured when he lived in Sri Lanka.

Speaking at the inquest independent pathologist Dr Basil Purdue said there were a number of scars on the 56-year-old's body consistent with torture and from subsequent operations in this country to treat his epilepsy.

Dr Purdue added that there were no new injuries but that his epilepsy ultimately led to his death on October 1 last year after he suffered a head injury from a fall due to a seizure in 2007.

He said: “Death was likely to have been caused from a final epileptic seizure resulting from long term brain damage.”

Mr Short determined that he died from natural causes.

Neither the coroner nor Hampshire Police would confirm why Kugathas was in prison.