Julian may have died from ‘dead in bed’ syndrome

111156_DIABETES_FUNDRAISER_30/03/11''Julian Ravenhall (Jules), died in his sleep in January after he fell into a diabetic coma. ''Pictured here in 2007.
111156_DIABETES_FUNDRAISER_30/03/11''Julian Ravenhall (Jules), died in his sleep in January after he fell into a diabetic coma. ''Pictured here in 2007.

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MUCH-LOVED Southsea musician Julian Ravenhall died due to natural causes, a coroner ruled.

The 36-year-old died in his sleep at his home in Southsea in January this year.

He had been diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at the age of 20.

His sudden death has been linked to ‘dead in bed’ syndrome, which refers to unexplained deaths in young people with Type 1 diabetes.

It is thought a person suffers from an abnormal heart rhythm that can cause death.

Julian, who worked as a data systems manager for Astrium, had been out to a gig and a school reunion on January 29 – the night before he died.

Mum Sue White, 65, said: ‘I got up at about 2am to use the toilet and I saw Jules’ bedroom light on.

‘I don’t know exactly what time he got in.’

The following day Mrs White went to check on Julian, at their home in Clarendon Mews, Southsea, at around 4pm.

‘It was unusual for him to sleep in so late in the afternoon, so I went to check on him,’ added Sue. ‘That’s when I found him.’

Stepfather Derek White, 63, said he had heard Julian’s phone ringing at about midday, but had thought nothing of it.

Pathologist Judith O’Higgins examined Julian’s body to determine a cause of death.

She said: ‘The examination found no evidence of any intoxication involved.

‘Further tests were carried out to find out whether his diabetes played a part.

‘There is a syndrome called “dead in bed”, which is related to young adults who suffer from Type 1 diabetes.

‘They are normally found dead in bed and there’s nothing in the days before that suggests they are going to die. It seems to be a very quiet and peaceful death, where someone just loses consciousness.’

Julian’s family said he had been in control of his medication and led a healthy lifestyle, which is why they were shocked to discover he had died in his sleep.

He was well-known in the Southsea area and earlier this year his funeral was attended by about 400 people.

Mrs White added: ‘We all miss him so much.’

Scores of well-wishers had turned out in honour of Julian during a musical tribute night called Julesfest.

His friends hope to make it an annual event as a tribute to Julian.

David Horsley, coroner for Portsmouth and south-east Hampshire, recorded Julian died of natural causes.

He said: ‘He died due to natural causes.

‘He had a premature but peaceful death – I’m so awfully sorry.’