A 24-YEAR-OLD man who had undergone brain surgery to battle epilepsy died after a night out with friends, an inquest heard.

Simon Longthorp’s body was found in Selby Dam, near Sainsbury’s, on Sunday, August 18 last year.

An inquest heard Mr Longthorp, of Rawcliffe, York, had been to a party in Barlby with friends and visited two pubs in Selby the previous night.

He left the group, though, and told them he was returning home.

Michael Eddon had been friends with Mr Longthorp since they were at primary school, and was out with him the night before he died. After the group went to the Market Tavern, Mr Longthorp got up and left the venue.

Mr Eddon said: “He seemed fine when we went into town. He wasn’t unsteady on his feet or anything like that. He wasn’t staggering about.

“We sat him down and had a cigarette and we all went back inside. He said he was feeling fine. We thought he was going back inside, but he’d gone right out of the pub, and I asked him where he was going. He didn’t say anything to us.”

Mr Eddon said Mr Longthorp then told him he was going home. The group assumed he was going for a taxi. They had all been drinking, but the inquest found the amounts were not excessive.

Mr Longthorp’s parents Beryl and Paul told the inquest their son had suffered from epilepsy, and had undergone brain surgery in October 2012 to improve his condition.

The inquest heard the procedure had helped, but he was still known to suffer from occasional fits, which they said could explain his behaviour prior to his death.

Mrs Longthorp said: “This is what he’s like when he’s having a fit, he can appear quite lucid but his behaviour is abnormal.

“You could hold a conversation with him, that was a reasonable conversation, but if you asked a question like what time is it, that’s when you would know he was having a fit.”

Assistant coroner Geoff Fell found Mr Longthorp’s death to be an accident.

Speaking after the inquest Mr and Mrs Longthorp thanked his colleagues at Starbucks in York, who they said “right from the start, treated him as if he were one of the family.”

Mrs Longthorp said: “Simon had a lot of health issues and he never said ‘why me’, just got on with life. He was very mature and a lot braver than anyone realised.”

Fundraising had already taken place in memory of Mr Longthorp, with donations from a Christmas jumper day at the pharmacy at York Hospital raising £75 for Epilepsy Action.