Grandad’s fatal drug battle relapse

Bolton Coroners' Court
Bolton Coroners' Court
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A WIGAN grandad died after taking an accidental heroin overdose, an inquest heard.

Bolton Coroner’s Court heard that Kevin Young had being using heroin every now again but had been clean for around four years at the time of his death.

Drugs such as heroin wreck lives and Kevin’s death has had a massive impact on all of his family

Mr Young’s family

His family later issued a statement through the police warning others that “drugs wreck lives.”

Mr Young died aged 49 after being found unresponsive in the bathroom of a friends house in Ince at around 1.30pm on August 19 last year.

Despite efforts to resuscitate him by paramedics and staff at Wigan Infirmary, he was pronounced dead a short time later.

The court heard how Mr Young, of Old Hall Street, Lower Ince, moved to Wigan from Liverpool with his partner Nadine Bascombe after he underwent a detox programme in an attempt to distance him from those associations.

But he had struggled with depression, especially after a number of bereavements, and had relapsed for a while in 2013.

Miss Bascombe told the court that Mr Young, a handyman, was very private about his drug use but that she was not aware he had returned to taking the drug before his death.

Consultant forensic toxicologist Julie Evans said that several drugs had been found in Mr Young’s blood and urine, which were tested after his death.

She said: “Most were at therapeutic levels and are unlikely to have contributed to his death. The level of morphine in his blood was 942mg.

“It is difficult to interpret these findings because people develop a tolerance if they take it daily. People who use it sporadically would not have a tolerance.

“I would consider it to have caused death if there was a concentration greater than 200 if there is no tolerance. Even with a tolerance, 942 is a very high level and would be enough to be considered the cause of death.

“Some of the morphine will have come from codeine but there was also noscapine and papaverine present which are both only found in illicit heroin as it comes from the opium poppy.”

As a result, consultant pathologist Dr Alan Padwell, who carried out a post mortem examination, said he discovered no signs of natural disease or of external injury apart from needle marks on Mr Young’s arm leading him to conclude that Mr Young had died of heroin overdose.

The court also heard from police who investigated the death that there was no evidence of third-party involvement.

Assistant coroner Rachel Griffin concluded that he had died as a consequence of heroin misuse.

In a statement, Mr Young’s family said: “Kevin was a loving family man. He had great respect for his partner, his children and grandchildren.

“Whilst he had problems with depression and had used drugs he had tried hard and managed to get clean.

“Sadly Kevin, who was a private man struggled and relapsed at times.

“Drugs such as heroin wreck lives and Kevin’s death has had a massive impact on all of his family.

“He will be missed by all his family. We would like to thank all those who tried to save Kevin.”