St Albans stabbing suspect dies from prescription drugs overdose

AN overdose of prescription drugs led to the death of man charged with a stabbing incident in St Albans last May, a coroners court heard on Tuesday.

Frank Varey, 32, of Ashburnham Road, Luton, died at his home on July 7 this year, having taken an overdose of his hypertension medicine Verapamil and drunk two thirds of a bottle of wine.

He was on bail facing a GBH charge following the stabbing of a man in his 30s in Wycombe Way, at The Quadrant, Marshalswick, on May 11.

Mr Varey and his wife Louise ran Cash 4 Gold in the Quadrant together and were both on bail in relation to the stabbing incident.

In a statement read out in Dunstable Coroner’s Court, Mrs Varey said: “Myself and my family are completely devastated. I have no idea what I am going to do. Frank had not told anyone that he was depressed or that he was going to harm himself.”

The conditions of Mr Varey’s bail meant he was not allowed contact with his wife and he had recently moved into a bedsit in a multiple occupancy house

Mrs Varey said he had spent three weeks in prison followed by three weeks in hospital, where he tried to hang himself on June 22 this year.

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She said: “I believe the continuing of the court case and not being able to see me and his young son had made him very depressed.”

Mr Varey was found in his flat by his father-in-law and niece, who were concerned that he had not made his nightly call to them to say: “Kiss the boy goodnight from me.”

He was found slumped on the sofa in the bedsit surrounded by packets of prescription medication, loose pills and the remains of the wine.

Paramedics were called to the scene and he was declared dead at 2.39am.

The coroner heard how the medication could have been taken at any point in the 12 hours prior to Mr Varey’s death, and would have accumulated in his body. Mr Varey had made an emergency call threatening suicide earlier that same evening.

The medical cause of death was an overdose of prescription medication with alcohol.

Coroner David Morris said: “I am not satisfied, I can’t be certain beyond all reasonable doubt, that the overdose was a deliberate attempt to take his own life. Therefore I record a verdict of misadventure.”