Cot death tragedy of 25-year-old man

Wayne Gaskin, aged 25, of Thorne, who died on 12 May 2015. His death was recorded as unexplained at an inquest in November.
Wayne Gaskin, aged 25, of Thorne, who died on 12 May 2015. His death was recorded as unexplained at an inquest in November.

A heartbroken mother has been told her ‘lovely’ son died of a form of adult cot death aged just 25.

Devastated Mary Maughan paid tribute to her beloved son Wayne Thomas Gaskin, who was found dead in the bathroom of his home – with no apparent clues to why he died.

An inquest at Doncaster Coroner’s Court heard that Wayne, a labourer, of Haynes Grove, Thorne, may have been the victim of adult ‘cot death.’

Ms Maughan, who attended the inquest, said: “He was just a very nice young lad, he was lovely. He wouldn’t harm anybody.

“Sometimes I still can’t believe it, it’s like a bad dream. He moved to Doncaster from our hometown of St Helens, Merseyside, two years ago, but we were still close. When he lived at home we used to go shopping together.

“I have another son and a daughter and we were always all there for each other.

“It’s so hard but you just get through it day by day.”

Wayne’s girlfriend, Louise Appleton, had been exchanging text messages with Wayne late in the evening of May 11, but the next day he did not respond.

Wayne’s cousin, Thomas Maughan, aged 25, also of Haynes Grove, found his body at just after 5.30pm on May 12.

In a statement read to the court, he said: “Neighbours told me that they had heard his dogs barking all day, so I went across to check on him but I couldn’t rouse him.

“I saw the bathroom window was open and I could hear the water running. I saw him on the floor.

“I kicked the door in and ran to him. I touched him and he was really cold.”

PC Alison Griffiths, who attended the scene 20 minutes later, confirmed there were no suspicious circumstances surrounding his death.

Toxicology results revealed Wayne had some alcohol and a trace of cocaine in his blood, but experts said neither would have contributed to his death.

A post morterm examination proved inconclusive.

Dr Mahariz Muzafar, a consultant pathologist at Doncaster Royal Infirmary, said: “To me, he looked like a healthy young lad.

“There was nothing to suggest what may have caused his death. Sometimes, we are aware of cases with young people where the heart just stops.”

The court heard Wayne had suffered from asthma since he was 18 months old and had been treated for a collapsed lung at North General Hospital, Sheffield, in February, but this was not linked to his death.

Wayne’s grandmother Christine Gaskin told the court: “He came to see me about two days before he died. He looked healthy and happy. He said he would come back to see me, I had no reason to be concerned.”

In a statement read in court, girlfriend Louise said: “My life has not been the same since that day, everything good has been taken from me.”

Recording an open verdict, assistant coroner Mark Beresford told the family: “In rare cases there is no proven cause of death.

“It seems like cot death, but in an adult.

“It is clear to me you have lost a much loved member of your family and a man who still had the best years of his life ahead of him.”