Tom Maynard's Surrey teammates had 'no idea' he regularly used cocaine
Teammates of Surrey cricketer Tom Maynard had no idea he was probably a daily user of cocaine, an inquest has heard.
Westminster Coroner's Court heard evidence this morning that the batsman, killed on the train tracks at Wimbledon Park in June 2012, had been taking cocaine and ecstasy on the night before his death.
A post-mortem examination found he was nearly four times over the legal drink driving limit, before analysis of his hair concluded he was regular cocaine user in the previous last three-and-a-half months - midway through the cricket season.
He fled from police after being stopped in a black Merecedes in Ryfold Road, following a night out with teammates at Surrey County Cricket Club, who had lost a match earlier on Sunday, June 17.
Mr Maynard, Jade Dernbach and Rory Hamilton-Brown, went to the Ship pub in Jews Road, Wandsworth Bridge, and later the Aura nightclub in Mayfair.
After returning home at 3am, he telephoned his glamour model girlfriend, Carly Baker, at 3.30am on the morning on Monday June 18th 2012, and telling her he was coming to see her in Wimbledon Park.
Mr Hamilton-Brown, Surrey's club captain and Mr Maynard's housemate in Althorp Road, Wandsworth, denied any knowledge Mr Maynard had regularly used cocaine, which would have meant an automatic two-year ban from the game if discovered.
Mr Hamilton-Brown said: "I would describe him as an incredibly level-headed guy. He had so much talent in so many facets of life."
Another teammate and close friend, Jade Dernbach, who knew Mr Maynard for three years, also denied any knowledge of his drug taking on each of the five occasions he was asked by the coroner, Dr Fiona Wilcox.
Mr Dernbach said: "Tom was absolutely fine. He was his normal, bubbly self. There was nothing different about him.
"It was another of those games which was difficult to lose. But he didn't get down when it came to cricket things. He was looking forward to the next game.
"I wouldn't say he was down. There was an incident where he hurt himself a little but which hampered his ability to play, but I wouldn't say he was down about that."
Mr Maynard had been struck by a car while he had been drinking in Brighton, about 10 days previously, which resulted in Surrey Cricket Club suspending him for misconduct.
He still had a black eye on the morning of his death and had had a minor shoulder injury.
Mr Dernbach said the three cricketers started drinking "a couple of beers" at Tom and Rory's house and then went to The Ship pub, where they then had "four pints" with friends before leaving at 11pm.
They returned home and drank "two or three vodka and Red Bulls" before going to Aura nightclubs, where they went on to have another "four or five" of the same drink.
Georgina Williams and her two sisters were also at Aura that night, where they met Mr Maynard and Mr Dernbach outside while having a cigarette.
Mr Maynard told the women he had got his black after being in an accident in Brighton, but lied about his job - telling Ms Williams he "stacked shelves at Sainsbury's", the court heard.
The three men returned home from the club at different times, with Mr Maynard the last to arrive alone just before 3am.
He did not continue to socialise with Mr Dernbach or the sisters who had accompanied him back to the house, but Ms Williams said she saw him leave the house at about 3am.
Mr Maynard's girlfriend, glamour model Carly Baker, told the court he rang her at about 3.30am and said: "He told me he had a really sh** day and he felt crap. He said he wanted to come and see me.
"I asked if he had been drinking, but he was not slurring his words and didn't sound drunk. I thought he was drunk and he shouldn't get in his car."
She added Mr Maynard had texted her to announce he was a minute away, when she looked out the window and did not see him, before she saw the flashing light of the police car in Ryfold Road.
In a statement issued through the Professional Cricketers' Association, the Maynard family said: "The results of the inquest do not define our son. The fact that so very many people thought the world of him is what defines him as a person.
"The only people who would judge Tom on the findings of the inquest are people who didn't know him.
"He made choices that night that tragically cost him his life but his devastated family and friends will love and miss him unconditionally always.
"He was a very special person and his death leaves a huge hole in all our lives."
UPDATE (4.30pm): The jury has returned a verdict of accidental death.