Man found dead mysteriously stuck in hole in bedroom door
A 38-YEAR-old man was found dead, mysteriously stuck halfway through a hole in his bedroom door.
Stefano Tardio was wedged in a small wooden panel at his flat on Station Road, Yate, when police forced entry after his family had not seen him for several days.
The former cobbler, who had a number of heart defects, is believed to have suffered heart failure either through panic or due to the tightness of the position he had found himself in, an inquest heard yesterday.
"Gentle and friendly" Mr Tardio was found on November 14.
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The inquest at Flax Bourton Coroner's Court was told that in the run-up to his death he had not been taking his heart medication, nor the medication for his mental health problems, which included paranoid schizophrenia and depression.
When his sister Adriana and brother Antonello failed to get an answer at his door and could see that his fridge had toppled against the front door, they enlisted the help of the police. Sgt Andrew Hucker and PC Mark Neal squeezed through a panel in the front door and soon saw Mr Tardio.
PC Neal told the inquest: "Mr Tardio was slumped over the door, through a six-inch panel.
"The front door had been bolted from the inside and all the windows in the flat were closed and locked."
He said there was a piece of wood on the kitchen floor and in another room pages torn from a small note pad with crosses drawn on them.
He said: "I believe that possibly he's had a panic attack and not been able to get out of the bedroom, kicked through the panel legs-first and kicked the fridge and made it topple over."
Mr Tardio had no pulse and cuts on his right arm, chest, stomach and left thigh. His legs and feet were bruised. Dr Christopher Collins, consultant pathologist at the Bristol Royal Infirmary, told the inquest Mr Tardio suffered an "acute cardiac death" due to his congenital heart conditions. Toxicology tests found no alcohol nor drugs – including medication – in his system.
Dr Collins added: "His heart weighed 710g – more than twice the weight of a normal heart for a person of that age. We normally say that when a heart weighs more than 600g its rhythm becomes unstable."
Dr Collins said he thought that given the position Mr Tardio was found in, he had either panicked and had an adrenaline rush, or had found it hard to breathe. He added: "It is fair to say that in a heart of this pathology, it doesn't take a great deal to precipitate an acute event."
Unemployed through disability, Mr Tardio had suffered from psychiatric problems in the past and was twice sectioned. He had undergone numerous surgeries, having been born with a hole in the heart and a missing valve. He had been feeling unwell in the days before his death, pulling out of attending a John Barrowman concert he had been due to go to with his sister.
Avon Coroner Maria Voisin recorded a verdict of accidental death.
Mr Tardio's siblings, dad Vincenzo, mum Jacqueline, step-mum Ann, step-dad Brian and sister-in-law Julie, were all at the inquest.
Afterwards, they said: "We had no idea that he wasn't taking any of his medication. Stefano was a much-loved son, brother, uncle and Godfather who will be sadly missed.
"He was a gentle, friendly man. He loved going to gigs and having his picture taken with celebrities."
Mr Tardio was a member of the Grown Up Congenital Heart Patients Association, where he made many friends, and volunteered for local charities.