Man died after drugs cocktail

News story. Below, Charles Gerrard
News story. Below, Charles Gerrard
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A WIGAN man who regularly “binged” on hard drugs had been rocked by two huge blows in his life, an inquest heard.

Charles Anthony Gerrard - who was found dead on the floor of a friend’s high rise flat in Scholes aged just 38 - suffered a serious fall while working as a roofer and the back injuries he sustained would trouble him up all his adult life.

The late Charles Gerrard

The late Charles Gerrard

The Bolton hearing was also told that jobless Mr Gerrard had battled bouts of depression after his late partner Amanda Concannon, mum of his infant son who was then raised by his parents James and Joceyln Gerrard, died herself in 1999.

Pathologist Naveen Sharma said an autopsy found traces of the medicines codeine, diazepam, methadone, tramadol at prescription levels. But while amphetamine, cannabis and cocaine were also found at “non-overdose” levels, the heroin he had taken was of a highly toxic amount. Cause of death was described as mixed drug toxicity.

A police investigation had failed to discover where Mr Gerrard, of Grenfell Close, Worsely Mesnes, had been buying the drugs. A mysterious and subsequently unidentified “tall man” seen by a witness leaving Rita Carter’s flat in Woodcock House, where he was found dead, has never been traced.

Ms Carter insisted Mr Gerrard had arrived at her house - the couple were not in a relationship - alone. And she had never seen him, or allowed him, to take drugs there.

Coroner Alan Walsh warned about misuse of “very powerful and very dangerous” drugs and pointed out that the heroin in combination with the cocktail of other substances could have a “catastrophic effect.”

Particularly as Mr Gerrard was known to “binge” on drugs and then wean himself off them, which made morphiates in particular more potent because he wasn’t building up a tolerance to them.

He also said: “I am satisfied that when he stayed with his parents he would get back to living a normal life - indeed the only safe and secure place for him was with his parents. They did as much as they possibly could to provide him with a home and to get him relatively well again.”

Verdict: Misuse of drugs.