Man in constant pain overdosed

Terry Stringman
Terry Stringman

A WIGAN man struggling to cope with chronic pain and the effects of his parents’ break up took an overdose.

At a Bolton inquest deputy coroner Alan Walsh recorded that Terry Stringman, 21, of Cyprus Road, Worsley Hall died from misadventure having taken a substantial amount of Oramorph, a liquid form of morphine, and prescription medication.

Mr Walsh heard that Mr Stringman was found by his fiance, Rachel Hudson, early on 15 April after they had fallen asleep having argued about his drug use.

A post-mortem examination revealed that Mr Stringman had traces of alcohol, tramadol, codeine and diazapam in his blood. These, coupled with 378mg of morphine, caused his death.

Dr Stephen Mills, Consultant Pathologist at Wigan Infirmary, said: “Above 50mg of morphine can be fatal but people can build up a tolerance. The mixture had the gradual effect of switching off his brain.”

Mr Stringman’s father, Robert, told the hearing that he had moved out of the family home in 2005. His son had struggled to come to terms with the break up and was diagnosed with anxiety and depression in 2009.

In 2010, he had two incidents of self-harm, causing significant nerve and tendon damage to his wrists. He had been prescribed medication for the continuing pain of these injuries.

Following an argument with Ms Hudson in February, Mr Stringman punched a concrete slab, causing a serious hand injury. To cope with the pain, he illegally obtained morphine to supplement his existing medication.

The hearing was told that on 14 April, Mr Stringman and Ms Hudson watched the Grand National in a local pub. Robert Stringman said his son had rung to ask for racing tips and he sounded upbeat having recently moved into a new flat with Ms Hudson.

That evening, Mr Stringman disappeared for an hour but later returned home. After he admitted he had taken morphine, the pair argued before Mr Stringman asked for them to stop and go to sleep.

Mr Walsh concluded that he died through misadventure having taken the drugs for pain-killing purposes but that he had not intended to kill himself.