Tragic Wrexham busker turned to drink after street attack

Published date: 20 December 2013 |
Published by: Jamie Nield-Siddall 
Read more articles by Jamie Nield-Siddall  Email reporter


A POPULAR musician and father whose life never fully recovered from a brutal street attack died as a result of alcohol abuse 12 years later, an inquest heard.

Craig Harvey, 32, who died in July, was known in Wrexham for his busking – playing in a variety of locations in the town.

An inquest held in Ruthin yesterday was told Mr Harvey, of Benjamin Road, Wrexham, struggled to recover after being attacked in the street 12 years ago.

He suffered serious head injuries in the attack, which resulted in him spending two weeks in Walton Hospital, Liverpool.

His parents, Helen McIntyre and Mike Harvey, told the hearing their son “lost his confidence” after the attack which took place when he was 20.

His father said it had a huge impact on his son’s life.

Mrs McIntyre added: “He never went to work after the attack and he never really went out. He had lost a lot of confidence.”

Even though the physical recovery “was a good one”, it was hard for Mr Harvey to cope.

The inquest was told his drinking had resulted in him being admitted to hospital twice in 2012, when he was said to be drinking up to 18 cans of cider a day.

His housemate, Jason Vine, discovered Mr Harvey dead in his bedroom on July 24 after suspecting something was not right when he could not hear “any load music coming from the room,” the inquest heard.

Mr Vine called an ambulance but when they arrived paramedics pronounced him dead at the scene.

Years of drinking had also had an impact on Mr Harvey’s physical appearance and the inquest heard he had gone against medical advice that he should stop drinking alcohol.

Summing up, John Gittins, coroner for North Wales East and Central, said: “This was a death that arose at the abuse of alcohol.”

He drew a conclusion of death by abuse of alcohol.

He added: “I did have the pleasure of knowing who he was. People thought well of him.

“This problem that has affected him has been one for many, many years and I never knew of it and that was his perception to other people.”

Speaking after the inquest Mr Harvey said: “There is thousands of things I will remember him for, but one of the main things was when we used to sing together.”

“We have been through 12 years of difficult times.
It [the attack] definitely had an effect on him. He spent two weeks in Walton Hospital with serious head injuries.

“He turned to drink as his pain killer or his crutch.”

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