Artist Hockney’s assistant died after drinking acid, inquest finds

Dominic Elliott (23) had drunk drain cleaner after taking cocaine, ecstasy, alcohol and cannabis

David Hockney’s house in Bridlington, East Yorkshire, where Dominic Elliott died. Photograph: Amy Murphy/PA Wire

David Hockney’s house in Bridlington, East Yorkshire, where Dominic Elliott died. Photograph: Amy Murphy/PA Wire

Sat, Aug 31, 2013, 01:00

An assistant to artist David Hockney died after drinking drain cleaner at the painter’s home following a drug and alcohol binge, a coroner ruled yesterday.

Dominic Elliott (23) was the subject of a number of portraits by Hockney, one of Britain’s most influential living artists famous for colourful landscapes and portraits.

Hockney (76) said in a statement yesterday he had been asleep and unaware that Elliott had drunk the liquid after taking cocaine, ecstasy, alcohol and cannabis with his partner John Fitzherbert in March this year.

Fitzherbert is Hockney’s former long-term partner who still lives at the artist’s home in Bridlington in northern England.

After a two-day inquest, Paul Marks, coroner for Hull and East Riding, said there were no suspicious circumstances and no evidence that Elliott had intended to take his own life. He recorded a verdict of misadventure. -(Reuters)