Mystery still surrounds St Albans man’s overdose death

AN OVERDOSE victim from St Albans may not have intended to kill himself, an inquest heard.

Vincent Rickard, aged 50, of Wilshere Avenue, was discovered unconscious in his van on Ragged Hall Lane by a passer-by on the morning of February 10. Various tablet strips and a bottle of wine were found at the scene.

Mr Rickard, a father and husband who was also the kitman for Hemel Hempstead Town football club, was taken to Watford General Hospital where he was certified dead just after midnight the next day.

Mr Rickard was on painkillers for back pain and at the inquest into his death last week, Coroner Graham Danbury said that a post-mortem found a high and “potentially fatal” concentration of paracetamol in Mr Rickard’s bloodstream.

Mr Rickard, who lost his job last year due to the recession and was also struggling with family problems, had been on a trip to Cornwall with Hemel Hempstead Town FC the day before the incident and had arrived back home at around 4am.

Mr Danbury said that Mr Rickard, who had written a note a couple of day before his death recording how he was looking forward to the future, must have been extremely tired from the long drive back from Cornwall.

He added: “Because of his tired state, I do not think that Mr Rickard was in a fit state to make a serious decision to kill himself. Therefore, I can’t be satisfied that his intention was to commit suicide.”

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Mr Danbury recorded that Mr Rickard killed himself but the question of intention was unclear.