Ben Hilton drowned on way home from wedding in Winchester

Daily Echo: Ben Hilton Ben Hilton

A HAMPSHIRE man drowned after getting drunk at his sister's wedding and falling asleep on the train home.

Ben Hilton, from Eastleigh, was reported missing after he disappeared following the celebration at The Roebuck Inn in Winchester, on June 8 last year.

The inquest at Portsmouth heard Mr Hilton, who worked at a distribution depot, had been drinking heavily with his brother at the reception for the wedding of their sister Sam Hilton.

He had consumed about seven pints of lager and five Jager Bombs - a mix of Jagermeister and Red Bull energy drink - during the party, which began at about 2.30pm and went on into the evening.

The inquest was told the pub manager asked Mr Hilton to leave at about 9pm because he had become intoxicated, but not aggressive, and placed him in a taxi.

Mr Hilton, a keep fit fanatic, was taken to Winchester railway station where he got on a train heading home to Eastleigh.

But he fell asleep in his seat and was awoken when the train arrived at its final destination at Portsmouth Harbour.

Detective Sergeant Justin Powell-Hills, of Hampshire police, told the hearing Mr Hilton was seen on CCTV to leave the train and enter the adjoining jetty for the Wightlink catamaran service to the Isle of Wight.

He said: ''Mr Hilton appears to be confused about his location and he is seen to be unsteady on his feet and disappears from view.''

The inquest heard it was believed Mr Hilton then somehow fell from the fenced-off jetty.

The hearing was told there was no further sighting of Mr Hilton and his body was spotted 10 days later in the water by a passenger on a small ferry which runs between Portsmouth and Hayling Island.

A post-mortem examination revealed he had been approximately two-and-a-half times the drink-drive alcohol limit and it gave a cause of death as drowning.

Mr Hilton's mother Toni Garcia said her son had been happy but drunk during the wedding reception and had been handing out cash as presents to some of the children.

She said: ''This was purely alcohol that has done this.''

Recording a verdict of accidental death, Portsmouth coroner David Horsley said: ''Ben didn't have any troubles and I cannot think for one moment that he deliberately took his own life.

''Ben simply had too much to drink at the wedding, he got on the train, overslept, gone all the way to Portsmouth, got off the train, has been quite confused, he's gone somewhere people do not go, he went on that jetty and somehow has fallen in.

''It's a tragic loss of life of someone who was well-loved. He simply got too drunk that day and no-one can blame him for that, he's a young man and it was a family celebration.''

Comments (9)

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12:47pm Tue 12 Mar 13

Terry_Nutkins says...

It could happen to anyone of us at any moment and I hope people take heed from this sad, sad accident. A friend was once saved from choking to death on vomit while deep in a drunken sleep.Thank god someone heard and saved him. Life can be lost by the most innocuous moment or incident.

So sad and my heart goes to his family. Not a great start to his sister's new, married life.

R.I.P. Ben
It could happen to anyone of us at any moment and I hope people take heed from this sad, sad accident. A friend was once saved from choking to death on vomit while deep in a drunken sleep.Thank god someone heard and saved him. Life can be lost by the most innocuous moment or incident. So sad and my heart goes to his family. Not a great start to his sister's new, married life. R.I.P. Ben Terry_Nutkins
  • Score: 0

1:02pm Tue 12 Mar 13

davel_cats says...

A previous comment (that seems to have been edited) contained two statements: one of which I agree with - that this is a tragic loss of life. The other, however, I disagree with, that said something about it wasn't his fault as he was drunk. Why is the British culture so accepting of people getting drunk? Why are weddings seen as not very good unless many people get so drunk they can not stand up? I have been to two weddings in France in recent years: the receptions started at 8pm and were still going strong when I left at 2am. At neither wedding did anyone get falling-down drunk, and there were plenty of young people there. Yes, they got a bit merry, but nobody was obnoxious, nobody got sick, nobody fell over. What is wrong with our country here on this side of the Channel?
A previous comment (that seems to have been edited) contained two statements: one of which I agree with - that this is a tragic loss of life. The other, however, I disagree with, that said something about it wasn't his fault as he was drunk. Why is the British culture so accepting of people getting drunk? Why are weddings seen as not very good unless many people get so drunk they can not stand up? I have been to two weddings in France in recent years: the receptions started at 8pm and were still going strong when I left at 2am. At neither wedding did anyone get falling-down drunk, and there were plenty of young people there. Yes, they got a bit merry, but nobody was obnoxious, nobody got sick, nobody fell over. What is wrong with our country here on this side of the Channel? davel_cats
  • Score: 0

1:18pm Tue 12 Mar 13

sotonboy84 says...

davel_cats wrote:
A previous comment (that seems to have been edited) contained two statements: one of which I agree with - that this is a tragic loss of life. The other, however, I disagree with, that said something about it wasn't his fault as he was drunk. Why is the British culture so accepting of people getting drunk? Why are weddings seen as not very good unless many people get so drunk they can not stand up? I have been to two weddings in France in recent years: the receptions started at 8pm and were still going strong when I left at 2am. At neither wedding did anyone get falling-down drunk, and there were plenty of young people there. Yes, they got a bit merry, but nobody was obnoxious, nobody got sick, nobody fell over. What is wrong with our country here on this side of the Channel?
I think you're getting confused with somebody getting themselves drunk and how they behave whilst drunk. He was at a family celebration, got drunk and caused no harm to anybody. Unfortunately it was due to being drunk that his mind was impaired that lead to this very sad incident. There is nobody to blame here for anything as it was a sad accident.

Rest in peace Ben.
[quote][p][bold]davel_cats[/bold] wrote: A previous comment (that seems to have been edited) contained two statements: one of which I agree with - that this is a tragic loss of life. The other, however, I disagree with, that said something about it wasn't his fault as he was drunk. Why is the British culture so accepting of people getting drunk? Why are weddings seen as not very good unless many people get so drunk they can not stand up? I have been to two weddings in France in recent years: the receptions started at 8pm and were still going strong when I left at 2am. At neither wedding did anyone get falling-down drunk, and there were plenty of young people there. Yes, they got a bit merry, but nobody was obnoxious, nobody got sick, nobody fell over. What is wrong with our country here on this side of the Channel?[/p][/quote]I think you're getting confused with somebody getting themselves drunk and how they behave whilst drunk. He was at a family celebration, got drunk and caused no harm to anybody. Unfortunately it was due to being drunk that his mind was impaired that lead to this very sad incident. There is nobody to blame here for anything as it was a sad accident. Rest in peace Ben. sotonboy84
  • Score: 0

1:24pm Tue 12 Mar 13

Subject48 says...

Alcohol is a horrific drug....
Alcohol is a horrific drug.... Subject48
  • Score: 0

1:46pm Tue 12 Mar 13

sparkster says...

There is nothing wrong with alcohol, i enjoy a drink, according to experts everything is bad for you, this was an unfortunate accident, my thoughts are with Ben's family. As Terry rightly says this could have happened to anyone, tipsy or not
There is nothing wrong with alcohol, i enjoy a drink, according to experts everything is bad for you, this was an unfortunate accident, my thoughts are with Ben's family. As Terry rightly says this could have happened to anyone, tipsy or not sparkster
  • Score: 0

4:17pm Tue 12 Mar 13

minnie64 says...

Davel - as mentioned previously it does say Ben was drunk but wasnt obnoxious - the poor man has died - why paint the wrong picture - a sad tragic accident
Davel - as mentioned previously it does say Ben was drunk but wasnt obnoxious - the poor man has died - why paint the wrong picture - a sad tragic accident minnie64
  • Score: 0

7:17pm Tue 12 Mar 13

Huffter says...

davel_cats wrote:
A previous comment (that seems to have been edited) contained two statements: one of which I agree with - that this is a tragic loss of life. The other, however, I disagree with, that said something about it wasn't his fault as he was drunk. Why is the British culture so accepting of people getting drunk? Why are weddings seen as not very good unless many people get so drunk they can not stand up? I have been to two weddings in France in recent years: the receptions started at 8pm and were still going strong when I left at 2am. At neither wedding did anyone get falling-down drunk, and there were plenty of young people there. Yes, they got a bit merry, but nobody was obnoxious, nobody got sick, nobody fell over. What is wrong with our country here on this side of the Channel?
Nothing to do with your country of origin - accidents happen to people of all nationalities.
[quote][p][bold]davel_cats[/bold] wrote: A previous comment (that seems to have been edited) contained two statements: one of which I agree with - that this is a tragic loss of life. The other, however, I disagree with, that said something about it wasn't his fault as he was drunk. Why is the British culture so accepting of people getting drunk? Why are weddings seen as not very good unless many people get so drunk they can not stand up? I have been to two weddings in France in recent years: the receptions started at 8pm and were still going strong when I left at 2am. At neither wedding did anyone get falling-down drunk, and there were plenty of young people there. Yes, they got a bit merry, but nobody was obnoxious, nobody got sick, nobody fell over. What is wrong with our country here on this side of the Channel?[/p][/quote]Nothing to do with your country of origin - accidents happen to people of all nationalities. Huffter
  • Score: 0

9:09am Wed 13 Mar 13

davel_cats says...

Yes, indeed, it is a tragedy that someone so young has died, with his whole life ahead of him, and I genuinely extend all sympathy to his family. The point I was trying to make is that it is the attitude so prevalent in Britain today that alcohol seems to be necessary in order to have a good time. I hope that a lesson can be learnt from this tragic event so that at least something positive may come out of it. Some of you have said that this accident could have happened to anyone, yes, but it is doubtful it would have happened to someone who was not so drunk. If even one person reading this or who knew Ben will stop and think the next time they are celebrating that maybe they don't really need another drink, then something positive may come out of it. I also enjoy a drink, but I can also have a good time without alcohol.
Yes, indeed, it is a tragedy that someone so young has died, with his whole life ahead of him, and I genuinely extend all sympathy to his family. The point I was trying to make is that it is the attitude so prevalent in Britain today that alcohol seems to be necessary in order to have a good time. I hope that a lesson can be learnt from this tragic event so that at least something positive may come out of it. Some of you have said that this accident could have happened to anyone, yes, but it is doubtful it would have happened to someone who was not so drunk. If even one person reading this or who knew Ben will stop and think the next time they are celebrating that maybe they don't really need another drink, then something positive may come out of it. I also enjoy a drink, but I can also have a good time without alcohol. davel_cats
  • Score: 0

4:22pm Wed 13 Mar 13

sotonboy84 says...

userds5050 wrote:
kingnotail wrote:
userds5050 wrote:
kingnotail wrote: Feel sorry for his family, but come on, the guy brought it on himself. Someone call the Darwin awards..
If that's your idea of sympathy I think we can do without it. #Scum
Sympathy for a guy who got so **** he fell asleep on the train home, then somehow managed to fall into the sea. Don't think so. #overlysentimental2@
So why say you feel sorry for the family then? You really are pathetic.
Ignore him. On many posts he just tries to insult everybody and cause a stir.

If he gets his kicks on a local newspapers website (which he hates btw) then let him!

What a sad little life he must lead…
[quote][p][bold]userds5050[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]kingnotail[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]userds5050[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]kingnotail[/bold] wrote: Feel sorry for his family, but come on, the guy brought it on himself. Someone call the Darwin awards..[/p][/quote]If that's your idea of sympathy I think we can do without it. #Scum[/p][/quote]Sympathy for a guy who got so **** he fell asleep on the train home, then somehow managed to fall into the sea. Don't think so. #overlysentimental2@[/p][/quote]So why say you feel sorry for the family then? You really are pathetic.[/p][/quote]Ignore him. On many posts he just tries to insult everybody and cause a stir. If he gets his kicks on a local newspapers website (which he hates btw) then let him! What a sad little life he must lead… sotonboy84
  • Score: 0

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