Tragic New Year's Eve discovery at home of student who 'brought ray of light into every room'

Congenital heart disease (treated), cocaine with alcohol use
-Credit: (Image: GoFundMe)


A student who "brought a ray of light into every room" was tragically found dead at his home in Knott End.

The body of Justin Smale, who was born in Blackpool, was discovered at a property in Wayside on New Year's Eve last year. A post-mortem concluded that the 33-year-old had died from sudden arrhythmic death contributed to by a pre-existing congenital heart disease together with cocaine and alcohol use.

Following an inquest held at Preston Coroner's Court this week, Area Coroner Chris Long concluded: "Justin Anthony Smale died on 31 December 2023 at his home address of 3 Wayside, Knott End-on-Sea, Poulton-le- Fylde in Lancashire. Mr Smale was born with complex congenital heart disease which together with the ingestion of cocaine and alcohol led to sudden arrhythmic death."

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After Justin's death, friends and family raised more than £2,000 for his mum Janet. One friend said Justin had a "heart of gold" and described him as "a truly wonderful person and friend to quite literally everyone".

On the GoFundMe page, Amy Shepherd and Kacee Jenkinson wrote: "Justin was larger than life and had a huge impact on everyone he met. He was full of joy and happiness, he brought a ray of light into every room.

"He was deeply loved within and outside of our community and his untimely passing has left a huge hole for all of us. He was the type of person that would go out of his way in support of his family and friends, he could manage to bring laughter to even the most difficult of times. I speak for everyone when I say that he will be deeply missed but certainly never forgotten.

"His mum Janet was his entire world and our community ask you to join us in raising funds to support her through this difficult time. We are all together in this terrible loss and feel deep sympathy for Janet and wish to do what we can to help her through this and ensure she does not feel alone.

"We hope to give Justin a wonderful send-off in thanks for the wonderful memories we all shared with him so please if you are able, give in support of his mum and share in the memory of a wonderful human being, lost far too soon."