Assistant of gay artist David Hockney died after taking acid at star’s home

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An assistant to David Hockney died as a result of taking acid, having previously partied with the acclaimed gay artist’s former partner, an inquest heard this week.

Dominic Elliott, 23, died after drinking a household drain cleaner made up of concentrated sulphuric acid at the painter’s home in Bridlington, East Yorkshire, in March.

Mr Hockney, 76, was asleep at home at the time. His former long-term partner, John Fitzherbert, told the hearing that he drove Mr Elliott to Scarborough Hospital in the early hours of the morning.

A pathologist said that temazepam and ecstasy was also found in his body. Dr Richard Shepherd said the acid severely burned Mr Elliott’s mouth, tongue and throat before perforating his stomach.

Mr Fitzherbert, 48, was Hockney’s long-term partner for 20 years and still lives at the artist’s home and runs his domestic affairs.

After the verdict of misadventure, Humberside Police confirmed an investigation was continuing into possible drugs offences following Mr Elliott’s death.

A spokesman said a 48-year-old man and a 23-year-old man who were arrested on suspicion of drugs offences remained on bail as inquiries continued.

The spokesman said no one had been charged.

Mr Elliott was recruited by Mr Hockney to help with a series of works based around the seaside town of Bridlington.

Mr Hockney previously painted a portrait of Mr Elliot in 2008.

The artist was the subject of a major exhibition at the Royal Academy in London last year, titled A Bigger Picture, which attracted more than 600,000 people.

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