AN inquest into the death of Royal Navy veteran who died after consuming a cocaine-laced soft drink has been adjourned.
Joromie Lewis, 33, of Kings Road, Gosport, died last December.
At Southampton Coroners’ Court solicitor Fiona Canby, representing Mr Lewis’ wife Jayrusha, asked the coroner to consider having a jury inquest.
Coroner Grahame Short agreed and adjourned the inquest.
The court was packed full with Mr Lewis’ – known as Jemz – family.
Rene Collins, 35, grew up with Mr Lewis in St Vincent.
He told of the day he received a message telling him of the death.
‘I cried the whole weekend,’ he said. ‘He had an effect on everybody, a positive effect.
‘He was a very cool guy,’
A Home Office pathologist and a police officer were due to give evidence today.
Ms Canby also requested that another person be called to give evidence in person.
Mr Short said: ‘I see no alternative but to adjourn without hearing any evidence.’
Five people were later released without charge after being arrested in connection with the death.
Detective Superintendent Dick Pearson from the Hampshire Major Investigation Unit had previously described the investigation as complex, covering both Mr Lewis’ death and drug trafficking offences.
Mr Lewis, a Royal Navy veteran, ingested a small amount of liquid from a bottle of Pear D, a fruit drink, on December 5 in the belief he was drinking a genuine pear drink.
He died just hours later in Southampton General Hospital.
His funeral was held on December 30.
Police believe drug smugglers may have used the bottle to bring cocaine into the country from the Caribbean.
The death sparked a Food Standards Agency alert over the drink, which manufacturer Cole Cold does not export to the UK.