'Mr Lambrini' dead after 'years of excessive drinking'
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The businessman responsible for one of Britain’s most iconic alcoholic beverages was found dead last night – due to complications related to years of excessive drinking. In a scene pulled from the pages of an F. Scott Fitzgerald novel, John Halewood, 64, was discovered by swimming pool of his £6m Cheshire mansion. His wife, Judy, said, “I went into the house and I looked for John and I couldn’t find him anywhere. “I looked all over the house… then I went to the swimming pool where he used to swim and use the gym and things, that’s where I found him.” The court heard this morning that Mr Halewood had outstanding heart problems that were made worse by his drinking. The evening prior to his death, the drinks boss had asked managing director Andrew Smallman to drive him home from a restaurant after her had drunk too much at lunch. According to the Daily Mail, Mr. Smallman settled the “substantial” bill and the pair travelled to a nearby pub where they continued to drink. A toxicology report showed that, at the time of death, the Wallasey-born Halewood had over three times the drink-drive limit in his blood. Source close to the family indicate that the multi-millionaire found it “very difficult being a man at the top” and that he would regularly use alcohol as a “release”. Mrs Halewood alleged her husband would drink “on average” a bottle of wine a day and would “sometimes” binge drink. Assistant Deputy Coroner Dr Geoff Roberts says drinking was part of his “mechanism for coping with the strains and stresses” of running a multi-national company. In his later years, Halewood was nicknamed ‘Mr. Lambrini’ in honour of his most famous product, a cheap sparkling wine popular with students. He is survived by his partner and three children.
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