Popstar Nick Cave's 15-year-old son fell to his death from a 60ft cliff after 'freaking out' during an LSD session with a friend, an inquest heard today.
Arthur Cave, 15, who also had cannabis in his system, was 'completely disorientated' and stumbled off a cliff into the sheer Ovingdean Gap near Brighton at 6pm on July 14 this year.
The teenager was tripping out so badly he 'couldn't feel what was real and what wasn't real any more' and in a final message to a friend he said: 'Where am I? Where am I?', police have revealed.
In the minutes before the teenager died he was spotted by motorists as he 'zig-zagged' along the grass on the edge of the cliff before climbing over a safety fence and toppling over, it was said.
His Australian singer father, 58, famous for his work with the Bad Seeds, and his wife Susie Bick were at the inquest in Brighton today but left the room when Arthur's severe injuries were discussed.
Later the heartbroken couple hugged as the coroner recorded a verdict of accidental death today.
The singer's family have previously spoken of their heartbreak after the death of their 'beautiful, happy loving boy'.
The coroner heard that prior to the heartbreaking tragedy, Arthur had arranged to meet with friends to take LSD at the Rottingdean windmill - a location they naively saw to be 'safe and open.'
But within hours after a 'dark trip' the teenager fell from the cliff and suffered a fractured skull, broken legs and bleeding on the brain, today's hearing was told.
The student, who has a twin, Earl, 15, was taken to the Royal Sussex County Hospital but could not be saved and Sussex Police have said his death was not suspicious.
The inquest heard that the schoolboy had consumed LSD with a friend - or another similar hallucinogenic drug - before falling from the cliff edge.
Police said the friends were walking home and became separated as the hallucinations became more intense and he fell to his death.
His friend had been concerned about the side effects of taking the powerful hallucinogenic drug and had even searched Google for information.
But despite being initially reluctant the two friends proceeded to take the drug, initially consuming one 'tab' each.
Another young man who was video called by Arthur during the afternoon said that the pair appeared in 'good spirits'. But the experience soon turned darker as the schoolboys became paranoid during a 'bad trip'.
The friends, who later shared another tab, became disorientated and were eventually separated after deciding to walk home.
At one stage, Arthur sent a message to another friend saying: 'Where am I?'
He was then seen teetering on the edge of the cliff before he fell.
Detective Constable Vicky Lift, summarising a statement made by the friend, described how the pair began to 'freak out' due to the effects of the drug.
After agreeing to meet, the pair had travelled to an empty playground beside Rottingdean Windmill where they initially debated whether to go ahead with taking the drugs.
The officer said: 'Arthur was also slightly hesitant but he said to his friend that if they were thinking bad things it would have an effect on the trip. They felt comfortable at first and Arthur did as well but the trip became darker. He had vivid hallucinations and his thoughts became darker. (The boy) became paranoid and felt like people were staring at him in cars. He couldn't feel what was real and what wasn't real any more.'
At one stage the friends even urged each other to laugh in an effort to make themselves feel better.
Arthur's friend said that he recalls seeing him running around and covered in vomit but was unable to decipher whether the events were real or hallucinations.
DC Smith described how the youngster felt under-informed about the dangers of LSD. She said: 'He feels that all the advice he read on Google didn't address the darker side of taking LSD and the effects it can have.'
Dr Simi George, the pathologist who carried out a post-mortem examination, confirmed that she had received evidence were that the schoolboy had taken the Class-A drug.
However subsequent tests failed to locate the drug in his system, which she said was not surprising due to difficulties in tracing the substance.
Tests also revealed that the schoolboy had consumed cannabis, although the coroner said this was not relevant to his death as the drug may have been in his system for some days.
One woman told the inquest she was driving slowly along the seafront with her young daughter when she was left concerned by the sight of the teenager stumbling along a patch of grass close to the cliff edge.
She said: 'We were moving at walking pace so you have time to observe what is going on around you. I saw a young man walking and staggering, almost zigzagging, along the grass. His trousers were very low - but not in a trendy way, however - and he was pulling them up. My initial reaction was drink or drugs.'
She told the inquest she was left with a 'sinking feeling' when they could not immediately locate him at the perilous location.
After leaving the car they approached the edge of the cliff and were tentatively looking over the edge when one of the men eventually saw a motionless body lying on the underpass below.
'It was very, very high up and at that point I thought he is not going to survive,' Mrs Langford said. 'He wasn't pushed and I didn't see him fall over. It was dramatically quick.'
A software designer who was cycling home when he saw Arthur standing on the other side of the fence lining the cliff edge. He said: 'He appeared to be looking out over the cliff edge and was looking out to sea.'
The inquest heard how people rushed to Arthur's aid after his fall.
A young man, accompanied by his sister, began chest compressions before he was joined by a French couple and eventually another cyclist, who had been a retained firefighter in South Africa prior to moving to the UK.
Members of the group took turns carrying out CPR before paramedics arrived on the scene at around 6.05pm.
One member of the public even loaned her bike to a paramedic so he could attend the scene quicker.
An ambulance followed shortly after and Arthur was rushed to the Royal Sussex County Hospital in Brighton where medical staff continued to make attempts to resuscitate him.
Dr Paul Ransom, who was on duty at the hospital, said he gave the 'stop order' as Arthur's injuries were deemed catastrophic.
When Arthur's body was taken to the Royal Sussex County Hospital, a paramedic noticed he had no identification on him and his shoes were missing - something a number of witnesses picked up on.
Detective Constable Loft said a member of the public found a bag containing Arthur's belongings on the downs. 'During the course of the evening a member of the public located a bag on the downs with some property in it,' she said. 'This person took a mobile phone out of the bag and sent a text to a person who had recently sent a message to the phone - this message had come from the person's father. We had a strong suspicion that the boy in question was the same boy that had fallen from the cliff, and this was confirmed to be the case when we were contacted by Mr and Mrs Cave.'
Recording a verdict of accidental death, Ms Hamilton-Deeley said: 'The decision and planning to take LSD was made pretty well on the spur of the moment. Some time was taken to do research beforehand but the long and short of it is that the drug was taken. It was taken by lads who were inquiring and experimenting which kids do all the time. It would horrify us parents if we knew, but we will never know as they get away with it. Both children suffered the effects of the drug before they became separated. It is clear their perception became completely disorientated and discombobulated - they could not tell what was real and what was not. I am quite satisfied that the contributory factor was the recent ingestion of a hallucinogenic drug. I will record that Arthur died an accidental death. In his family's words, 'he was a bright, shiny, sunny, funny, complex boy and we loved him dearly. It is clear to me that he brought joy and laughter in to the lives of everybody he came across. I offer my utterly inadequate but sincere condolences. I also pay tribute to all the people who did their utmost to help him.'
A poignant tribute was left at the cliff edge where Arthur fell to his death by his bereft twin brother.
In a heartbreaking note left alongside some flowers, Earl Cave said his was a 'joy to be around', adding: 'You were the best brother I could ever ask for'.
The note read: 'Arthur - I love you so much. You were a joy to be around. I will never forget you.'
(pictured: Nick Cave's deceased son Arthur, 15)
Martin Robinson & Mario Ledwith
November 10, 2015
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