THE SUDDEN death of an accountant who lived a 'Jekyll and Hyde' life remains a mystery after an inquest failed to establish exactly how he died.
63-year-old Roderick Kerr's body was found surrounded by old newspapers, magazines and rubbish in his home in River Gardens, Feltham in January.
He was found to have died of ketoacidosis – a type of blood poisoning – but the coroner at West London Coroner's Court on Tuesday (June 2) was left unsure whether it was caused by alcoholism, diabetes or some other rare, unidentified condition.
Coroner Elizabeth Pygott described Mr Kerr as having a 'Jekyll and Hyde' side to him as he was a hoarder and his home was described as being 'in a state' yet he was always well-presented in public.
Mr Kerr, who was born in Dundee and known as Rod, lived alone but was said to be well-known in the community. He visited his GP surgery of over 40 years in Bath Road, Hounslow on January 26, where doctor Vipin Patel thought he looked so unwell he attempted to have him hospitalised but Mr Kerr refused.
Just 36 hours later police were called to his home, knocked in his door and found him lifeless with his legs dangling off the end of his bed.
On examination he was found to have ketoacidosis – a condition usually caused by either alcoholism or diabetes.
As he had not been diagnosed with diabetes, pathologist Dr Judith Schroer initially linked his death to alcohol but following evidence that suggested he was not an alcoholic she left the cause open.
The deceased's brother Dr Graeme Kerr told the court: “I would like to establish that he was not a big or heavy drinker in any way;” an assertion that was backed up by his GP.
In recording a verdict of death by natural causes, Ms Pygott told Mr Kerr's family: “Whatever the cause was – diabetes, which seems unlikely, alcoholism, which seems unlikely, or pancreatic-related, which seems possible, I hope this has been of some assistance.
“I express my condolences for what was a somewhat sudden and unexpected death.”