Family's grief over son's accidental overdose

PUBLISHED: 16:31 23 January 2009 | UPDATED: 13:51 06 May 2010

THE SON of a Harpenden man described as highly intelligent died after an accidental heroin overdose, an inquest has heard. Gareth Reade, who had early ambitions to read international law at university, was found dead aged 37 at a house in Felixstowe, Su

THE SON of a Harpenden man described as "highly intelligent" died after an accidental heroin overdose, an inquest has heard.

Gareth Reade, who had early ambitions to read international law at university, was found dead aged 37 at a house in Felixstowe, Suffolk, on November 9 last year. The former public schoolboy had overdosed on heroin after spending £50 on his fix.

Speaking last week at the inquest in Ipswich into his death, his half-brother Diggory Warren said he had first developed the addiction to smoking opium in India in the early 1990s.

Mr Warren also revealed how Gareth's older brother Darren was murdered in Bristol 15 years ago after he had also become hooked on drugs.

He explained how he and his family had made several failed attempts to save Gareth from his descent into addiction.

He said Gareth had been born into an affluent middle-class family in Herts and had a good education and good morals. He told the court: "When he returned from India, he looked extremely ill. He insisted he go to Ipswich and from then on he submerged into the underworld."

The family told him to come back to them whenever he needed help but it took him nine months to do so. That was when he moved to Harpenden to live with his father and work in the family business.

But Mr Warren said: "Two months after moving to live with his father, he was already missing the drugs. It all became too much for him. He was working but it wasn't enough to match the buzz. "

Gareth was found dead at a house in Felixstowe after sharing heroin with two friends.

Greater Suffolk Coroner Dr Peter Dean recorded a verdict of accidental death.


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