The son of rock singer Nick Cave was found to have taken the hallucinogenic drug LSD before falling to his death from a cliff earlier this year, a post-mortem inquest has heard.

15 year old Arthur Cave, one of the singer’s twin sons, suffered a fatal brain injury when he fell from the top of a cliff near Brighton onto the Orvingdean underpass on July 14th this year. He was alive but badly injured after the fall, but died later in the evening at the Royal Sussex County hospital.

The inquest also heard testimony from the teenager’s friend (who cannot be named for legal reasons), who said that he and Arthur had taken the powerful hallucinogen together for the first time. DC Vicky Loft, who read the friend’s statement, said that he had researched the drug and its effects but found little about the potential negative effects.

Nick CaveNick Cave with his twin sons Earl (l) and Arthur (r) in 2012

The statement continued that the pair shared three tablets of the drug, and initially things seemed okay and they were in “good spirits and happy”. However, the friend soon began to feel negative effects and experienced “vivid hallucinations”, and he could not recall what happened to Arthur after that except that they eventually separated and tried to go home alone.

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A passing jogger discovered Arthur at the foot of the cliff near a public thoroughfare, and summoned help. An ambulance arrived and took him to the nearest hospital, but he was declared dead at 7:08pm.

Dr Simi George, who carried out the post-mortem at Guys and St. Thomas’ hospital in London, said: “In my opinion, even if there was a trauma team at the bottom of that cliff it would have been very unlikely that he would have survived.”

Dr Paul Ransom, who treated him at the hospital, testified: “In Arthur’s case, sadly, and I think mercifully, it was clear that he was not aware of what was going on. The point of impact was the point of death.”

Coroner Veronica Hamilton-Deeley recorded a verdict of accidental death, accepting that the boys had taken LSD – even though no trace of it was found in Arthur’s body. Summing up, she stated: “It was taken by lads who were inquiring and experimenting and it’s what kids do all the time, and most of the time… they get away with it, except on sad occasions like this.”

The singer and his wife Susie Bick attended the inquest on Tuesday (November 10th). Shortly after the incident itself, the couple released a brief public statement through Sussex Police. “He was our beautiful, happy, loving boy.”

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