War cameraman found dead at Cuckfield home

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A cameraman who filmed conflict in dozens of war-torn, hostile countries died of natural causes.

Jonathan Cavender, 57 of Chapelfields, Cuckfield, was found lying on his sofa by his family on April 29, 2015.

An inquest into his death, held at Park House, in Horsham, on September 9 found Mr Cavender had chronic heart disease.

Mr Cavender, who was divorced, worked for a number of news agencies, including the BBC, Reuters and WTN, reporting from countries including Iraq and Uganda.

The cameraman was even mentioned in a book by John Simpson, foreign correspondent for the BBC, who described him as the ‘very model of a British cameraman in Africa; dashing, amusing and footloose, and handsome in a very out of Africa way’.

Dr Karen Henderson, assistant coroner for West Sussex, said: “Clearly, he had a very interesting and varied career and suffered as a result of that career, having Post Traumatic Stress disorder.

“His role as a cameraman man commenced from the shooting down of a plane and his role took him to Somalia, Bosnia, Chad, Angola, Sierra Leone and Barundi on the front line filming those conflicts.”

Dr Henderson said his work caused him ‘great stress’ He had received help with his PTS disorder and was prescribed medication which he only took as directed.

Recording a verdict of natural causes, Dr Henderson said: “I do find hat his death was more likely than not to have been primarily due to his underlying, undiagnosed cardiomyopathy.”