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Crofty dad died after drinking on his son's stag night in Pontardawe

By South Wales Evening Post  |  Posted: December 19, 2012

Floral tributes left at the Castle Hotel Pontardawe for Nigel Hamer

A HARD-WORKING long-distance lorry driver died after drinking heavily while on his son's stag night.

William Nigel Hamer, 46, of Pencaerfenni, Crofty, passed away after collapsing in the Castle Hotel in Pontardawe in June.

The father-of-three had been out celebrating his son Sean's forthcoming marriage when the tragedy happened.

Sean married Nicola James the day after his father's funeral was held.

An inquest into his death, held at Swansea Civic Centre, heard that the group had visited several pubs in the town, consuming drinks in each.

At one pub, the Dynevor, Mr Hamer, an infrequent drinker due to his work commitments which saw him travel across the UK and Europe, drank a glass of alcohol containing a mixture of cider and spirits in the same glass.

He then made the short walk over to the Castle where he collapsed.

The toxicology test carried out after his death found Mr Hamer had 261 milligrams per decilitre of alcohol in his blood, just over three times the legal drink-drive limit.

Giving evidence, consultant pathologist at Morriston Hospital Alison Finall said Mr Hamer's cause of death would be acute pneumonia as a result of alcohol intoxication.

"Levels between 300 and 500 milligrams are associated with sudden death," she said.

"He is short of that but it is very high, it would have caused a significant affect on his brain.

"People are at risk of inhaling gastric contents."

Speaking to the Post at the time of the tragedy his son Sean said: "I'm in complete shock.

"I'm still going ahead with my wedding day.''

Coroner Philip Rogers said: "Mr Hamer's average intake was 14 units per week, entirely consistent with his job as a lorry driver, a hard working man who went all across the country and Europe.

"On this particular occasion he had consumed a larger than normal amount of alcohol and sadly this has been the unexpected outcome.

"There is nothing to indicate he had been dancing on the table or anything of that nature, as there were some rumours to that affect initially in the area."

Mr Rodgers recorded a verdict of death by misadventure.

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