Distraught father told “there was nothing you could have done” following death of alcoholic son Riccardo Muccio
A distraught father was told “there was nothing you could have done” after he blamed himself for his alcoholic son’s death.
Salvino Muccio, of Cortis Road, Putney, sobbed as Westminster Coroner’s Court ruled that his 43-year-old son, Riccardo Muccio, died from alcohol poisoning hours after waking up at dawn to buy booze.
He told the court on Thursday, February 14, that his son was a former chef who had become unemployed and addicted to drink and prescription drugs.
Mr Muccio told the court: “He would drink anything. Everything. Spirits during the day, but not lager.
On December 16, a Sunday morning, Mr Muccio went out to Putney while a drunken Riccardo lay in his bedroom.
When Mr Muccio returned an hour later, at about 12.30pm, he began to panic after seeing his son choking on a sandwich.
He told the court: “As soon as I opened the door I thought there was something wrong. He was lying on his back and I was shouting “Riccardo, Riccardo, Riccardo.”
He added: “When the ambulance came there were three or four of them and they rushed to Riccardo. They started doing lots of things to resuscitate him.
“After half an hour they come to me and said sorry, there’s nothing we can do.”
But a post-mortem examination would later reveal Riccardo had not died of choking, but from a cardiac arrest brought on by heavy drinking, which had caused his body to stop functioning properly.
A toxicology report, written by Dr Susan Patterson of Imperial College London, concluded Riccardo was four times over the legal driving limit – 358 miligrams per 100 mililetres – which is over the limit of 300 at which the body is at risk of going into a coma.
Doctors from Mayfield surgery in Roehampton and Kingston Hospital told the court how Riccardo became addicted to diazepam [Valium] and failed to register himself for detoxification treatment on several occasions.
The father began to weep as the coroner, Dr William Dolman, delivered a verdict of misadventure.
Dr Dolman said: “Even with a man used to alcohol for many years, this was just too much and that led to his death.
“It is a picture that also speaks of paternal love of a father for his son, even when in great distress.”
The coroner told Mr Muccio: “You did everything that you could. You must never blame yourself for the said events that happened.”
But Mr Muccio replied: “But I do blame myself.”