Where am I? Where am I?” the final message from Nick Cave’s teenage son.
The two teenage boys decided to try the LSD for the first time together.
One of them was nervous, so nervous he researched the effects of the drug online before he took it but they decided to do it anyway the police statement said.
“Arthur was hesitant, but said if they were worrying about things it would have an effect on the trip and make it a more negative experience.
“They decided to take one together at the same time. They took a tablet each, placed it on their tongue and waited for the effects to start.”
Hours later Arthur would be dead.
An inquest into the death of Arthur Cave, the teenage son of musician Nick Cave has heard that the 15-year old fell to his death from a cliff after taking the hallucinogenic drug LSD with a friend.
The friend, who cannot be named, said he and Arthur took three tablets between them and they were initially in “good spirits and happy”.
They had met at a playground in Brighton in the UK – thinking the location was safe and open – and at first enjoyed the experience. The two made a video call to another friend who said they were happy.
But after a while “the trip became darker” said a police statement given by Arthur’s friend.
The friend said he then started having “vivid hallucinations”, including patches of oil on the grass and shapes and colours in the sky” according to a report in The Telegraph.
“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.”
Detective Constable Vicky Loft who gave a detailed account of the boy’s statement said the “boy saw Arthur covered in vomit but wasn’t sure if it was real.”
Disturbed by the change in their mood the two began to urge each other to laugh in an attempt to bring back the initial euphoria.
The boy said he was not sure if he and Arthur walked off together but he recalled they went their “separate ways”.
During the afternoon Arthur sent a message to another friend, the last message he would send:
“Where am I? Where am I?”
As Arthur stumbled along disoriented and confused a women driving with her 11-year old daughter saw him stagger.
She told the inquest: “I was stuck in slow-moving traffic with my 11-year-old daughter as we were coming from a school open evening.
“Because it was so slow I had time to observe what was going on around me. As we approached the top of the hill I noticed a young man walking – staggering and zig-zagging on the grass.
“I was concerned and my initial reaction was that he as under the influence of drugs or alcohol. He slumped down into the grass and I couldn’t see him anymore. I thought to myself, ‘I need to get to him.’
“I said to my daughter, ‘look sweetheart, we need to go and do our Good Samaritan bit.’
“My daughter saw him get up and when I looked in my rear view mirror he had come down the bank and over the fence. I had a real sinking feeling at this point.”
She told the told coroner that she and her daughter headed up onto the cliff, there other people who had noticed the confused teenage boy had also gathered after seeing the boy “staggering” and “zig-zagging” on the cliff top.
But the boy was gone.
When she looked over the wire fence on the cliff top – designed to keep members of the public back – she saw Arthur on the concrete below.
The 15-year old son of Nick Cave and his wife Susie Bick had fallen (60ft) 18m down the sharp cliff face to the underpass below.
He broke both legs and “suffered brain haemorrhages and catastrophic and unsurvivable skull fractures.”
Several members of the public, including a South African fire-fighter worked to save his life but he did not survive.
Another detective Constable Smith said that the two boys felt under-informed about the dangers of LSD saying that Arthur’s friend “feels that all the advice he read on Google didn’t address the darker side of taking LSD and the effects it can have.’
The pathologist confirmed that she had received evidence that the schoolboy had taken LSD, tests also revealed that Arthur 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. “
Recording a verdict of accidental death the Coroner spoke in front of Arthur’s grief stricken parents, Nick Cave who was clutching a tissue and hugging his wife.
The Coroner 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.”
Arthur leaves behind his parents, and three brothers – Luke, Jethro and his twin, Earl.
The day after his death his brother Earl was among those to leave flowers and a message on the beach:
“Arthur – I love you so much. You were a joy to be around and I will never forget you” the note said.
“You were the best brother I could ever ask for. Earl.”