|Window cleaner branded 'fat' despite weighing only 12 stone died from massive heart attack after taking diet pills with same caffeine levels as 300 cups of coffee.|
12-stone Darwen window cleaner killed by slimming pills after cruel jibes about his weight: A man took diet pills containing the caffeine equivalent of 300 cups of coffee after being tormented by jibes about his weight. Former pub landlord Chris Wilcock swallowed ‘a quantity’ of slimming tablets prior to his death, an inquest heard. The 45-year-old, who weighed little more than 12 stones, ran pubs across East Lancashire with his fianceé Heather Thompson before becoming a window cleaner.
He suffered a fatal heart attack. Speaking after the inquest, the 44-year-old sales assistant said her partner of eight years had taken extra strong T5 fat burning tablets for the first time that morning but was not aware of their deadly side effects. Miss Thompson added tests carried out after Mr Wilcock’s death showed his body contained the caffeine equivalent of 300 cups of coffee.
At the opening of his inquest Blackburn, Ribble Valley and Hyndburn coroner Michael Singleton confirmed Mr Wilcock died due to caffeine toxicity. He adjourned the hearing and ordered an investigation into the tablets and said he wanted to know who had made them. T5 tablets are readily available online for as little as 25p each.
Speaking at the couple’s Darwen home in Greenway Street, Miss Thompson broke down in tears as she relived the moment her partner collapsed in their bedroom. She said: “He said he wasn’t feeling well and said he had taken some T5s. I called 111. They said they were sending an ambulance. “Chris was saying he was going to be all right but he started going funny. “I had to get him dressed. He sat on the edge of the bed and I cuddled him until the ambulance arrived.”
|Window cleaner Chris Wilcock, right and left with fiancee Heather Thompson, died after taking diet tablets.|
Paramedics helped Mr Wilcock, a dad-of-three and stepdad-of-two, down the stairs and into the back of an ambulance, where he went into cardiac arrest, Miss Thompson said. “They were in there quite a while. The paramedic came out and said his heart stopped but they got it going again,” she said. “I sat in the front of the ambulance on the way to hospital and the paramedic said it wasn’t looking good. They worked on him for 65 minutes. “They said he would have been brain damaged even if he had survived.”
Mr Wilcock died in the A&E department at Royal Blackburn Hospital at 12.17pm on Monday, April 6. Miss Thompson paid tribute to the man she met while working behind the bar at The Observatory Hotel in Blackburn. She said: “I felt sorry for him because he was living out his car. I invited him round for lunch and he never left. “He was like a best friend too. He used to ring and text me all the time and we’d tell each other we love each other every morning. “He was great.”
The pair went on to run The Boar’s Head in Newchurch, The Railway in Ramsbottom, and The Commercial Hotel in Haslingden. Miss Thompson, speaking after the inquest, said Mr Wilcock’s weight was ‘always up and down’ and said the pair had successfully tried traditional diets in the past. She said he bought the tablets for £25 after being labelled ‘fat’ by several people he knew, despite weighing just 12 stones and being fit enough to climb the Three Peaks for military charity Help For Heroes recently.
She said: “People were making comments about his weight but he was not fat. “So he said, ‘Starting from Monday, I will start to take them [the T5 pills]’. “I said we should just go on the low carb diet as always. I told him I love him to bits and I don’t care about his weight.” Mr Wilcock, who was also a grandfather, was buried at Pleasington Cemetery on Wednesday, April 22. He was also survived by his parents Ann and David, siblings Andrew, Michelle, and Carol, and several extended family members.