St Albans drug addict died after relapse, inquest hears

Hatfield Coroner's Court

Hatfield Coroner's Court

Archant

A 41-year-old man from St Albans, who died after a drug relapse in April, did so peacefully, an inquest has heard.

Paul McCarthy’s home on Burnside, St Albans, was broken into by police in April after concerned neighbours noticed his mobility scooter had not moved in a couple of days.

Herts coroner, Edward Thomas, told the inquest that Mr McCarthy was found dead on his kitchen floor and that toxicology reports identified the presence of diazepam, alcohol, cannabis, cocaine and heroin in his system.

Mr Thomas said: “That mixture of substances produced a level of intoxicants that is recognised as fatal.”

The inquest heard that Mr McCarthy had recently curbed his addiction to heroin and had even received a letter from the homelessness charity, Shelter, congratulating him on beating his addiction in February.

Mr Thomas said: “The fact that he had beaten the addiction meant that his opiate tolerance was likely greatly reduced.

“It is very sad because he had clearly done very well [to recover].”

He added that he was “satisfied that Mr McCarthy had no intention of ending his life.”

Mr Thomas recorded a verdict of misadventure, and said that while Mr McCarthy would have been aware of the risks of his behaviour, his death was ultimately accidental.


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