David Hockney has led the tributes to Dominic Elliott, who tragically died at Mr Hockney’s Bridlington home in March this year.
An inquest today gave a verdict of death by misadventure after Dominic, 23, drank 95% concentrated sulphuric acid in the form of drain and toilet cleaner, after drinking and using drugs, on March 17.
He was rushed to hospital by Hockney’s former partner John Fitzherbert by car, but was pronounced dead at Scarborough Hospital at around 5.38am.
A statement released after the conclusion of the inquest today said: “The death of Dominic Elliott was a tragic event.
“As David Hockney’s witness statement explains, he was unaware of the events that took place. He greatly valued Dominic’s work as his studio assistant and was devastated by his death. He sends his sincere condolences to Dominic’s mother, family and friends at this very sad time.”
At the inquest, Mr Hockney’s QC Robert Francis, said that the artist had “felt the loss keenly” and that he valued Dominic highly.
Giving evidence yesterday, friends Christopher Towland and Mark Shephard told of their “larger than life” friend who was “always winding people up”.
His mum Karen Kent spoke of her “very bright” son, who was very close to his family and friends.
Mr Fitzherbert’s solicitor Daniel Machover read a statement outside Hull Coroners Court after the inquest: “John expresses his deepest condolences to Dominic’s Elliott’s family and friends.
“This is a tragedy for everyone who knew and loved Dominic. John has given every possible assistance to the court and is still struggling to come to terms with Dominic’s death.”
After his death in March, friends of Dominic described him as “an irreplaceable character whose distinctive laugh we will miss”, saying “there will never be another like him. He will be deeply missed and always remain in our hearts and in our memories.”
Heartfelt tributes also poured in from Driffield Hockey Club and Bridlington Rugby Club, for whom keen sportsmen Dominic had played.