David Hockney shock: 'Horrific news has left Dom-shaped hole in our lives'
WORLD-famous artist David Hockney may have to wait several weeks before he discovers the reason for the death of his 23-year-old assistant at his home.
The 75-year-old artist is said to be "really devastated" after Dominic Elliott, 23, died on Sunday morning.
The Mail understands he was rushed to Scarborough Hospital by Mr Hockney's long-term partner John Fitzherbert after falling seriously ill at the artist's Bridlington home.
Although a post mortem was due to take place last night at Hull Royal Infirmary, a Humberside Police spokesman said it could take several weeks before the cause of death is known.
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The spokesman said: "We will not be putting anything into the public domain until officers have seen and spoken personally with Mr Elliott's family.
"While it is hoped this may provide some clues as to the cause of Mr Elliott's death, results from post-mortem examinations are not always conclusive.
"It may then take several weeks for complete results to be available to provide a pathologist with the information required to identify any cause."
Humberside Police are continuing to treat the former Driffield Hockey Club and Bridlington Rugby Club player's death as unexplained.
The spokesman said: "Officers are continuing to make routine inquiries into the events leading up to the arrival of the deceased at hospital and his subsequent death."
The Mail believes this will include talking to Mr Hockney as well as other friends, family, colleagues and neighbours.
The family, devastated by Mr Elliott's death, have asked to be left to grieve privately.
At the artist's home in Bridlington, where Mr Elliott did not live but is believed to have stayed quite often, the shutters remained closed.
Mr Hockney's publicist, Erica Bolton, has said Mr Elliott worked as an assistant in the artist's studio for two years and had been painted by him.
She said: "He was a hugely valued member of the team."
Police have ruled out violence.
It is believed Mr Elliott had attended a party the night before and had been drinking.
Devastated by his death, training at Driffield Hockey Club has been cancelled this week, with its teams having a minute's silence in Mr Elliott's memory at this weekend's games.
Paying tribute on the club's website, a message reads: "It is with great sadness, the club announces the untimely death of club member Dom Elliott, who sadly passed away at the weekend.
"Dom was a fantastic guy and much-loved member of Driffield Hockey Club who will be sadly missed by everyone in the hockey family.
"He was a larger-than-life character with a heart of pure gold who made people smile by simply being around him.
"This horrific news has thoroughly rocked the club and left a huge Dom-shaped hole in everyone's lives."