Coroner: Hockney aide died after drinking acid

LONDON (AP) — A coroner has ruled that a 23-year-old assistant to British artist David Hockney died when he drank acid after taking drugs and alcohol at the painter's home.

Dominic Elliott died after drinking a household drain cleaner made of sulphuric acid in March. A post-mortem examination showed that he had taken cocaine and other drugs before he died.

Hockney's former long-term partner, John Fitzherbert, earlier testified that he and Elliott had smoked cannabis and consumed alcohol at Hockney's house in northeastern England the day before the death.

The 75-year-old Hockney, one of Britain's best-known artists, said in a statement he was asleep at the time and didn't know what Fitzherbert and Elliott had been doing that day.

The coroner ruled Friday there were no suspicious circumstances in the death.

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