Drugs death of gentle giant

PUBLISHED: 12:20 13 July 2006 | UPDATED: 10:28 06 May 2010

A MAN described as a gentle giant died after taking heroin. Paul Weston, of Bronte Paths, died at a flat in The Glebe, Stevenage, on February 8. An inquest court heard that Mr Weston had suffered from drug and alcohol abuse problems in the past but fr

A MAN described as a "gentle giant" died after taking heroin.

Paul Weston, of Bronte Paths, died at a flat in The Glebe, Stevenage, on February 8.

An inquest court heard that Mr Weston had suffered from drug and alcohol abuse problems in the past but from 2003 the situation had improved.

The last time Mr Weston's doctor saw him was on February 1. He was said to be in "good spirits" when he left the consultation.

Coroner Edward Thomas read Mr Weston's psychologist's report which said he was making good progress and was a "thoughtful, caring and articulate" man. He was coping well and was making realistic plans with the help of his family.On the day of his death he met with Craig Wilmott, who he had known for 15 years, at his new flat at The Glebe.

Mr Wilmott told the court that Mr Weston asked him to get some drugs. The pair went to the St Nicholas area of Stevenage where Mr Wilmott bought a £10 bag of heroin from a man on the street. The pair returned to the flat and injected the drug into their legs using two needles they got from a chemist.

Mr Wilmott said: "He was fine for about five minutes but then he started wobbling a bit. I sat him down by the radiator and he started to go unconscious. I called 999 when he started getting cold."

Mr Wilmott said he had no ill-effect from taking the heroin but said he hasn't taken it since.

Gavin Hickman, a paramedic based in Letchworth GC, attended the flat after receiving information that a man was suffering from a heroin overdose.

He said once all paramedic procedures were exhausted it was clear Mr Weston was not responding or recovering.

Mr Hickman could not find any needle marks on Mr Weston.

Pc Craig Norman told the court he arrived to find two paramedics with Mr Weston. He said Craig Wilmott was arrested on suspicion of supplying a Class A drug.

Mr Wilmott pleaded guilty to a charge of possession of a Class A drug on June 1 and received a fine.

A post mortem on Mr Weston did not discover any puncture marks although Mr Thomas said this was not unusual.

It did reveal that Mr Weston was suffering from serious heart disease and his liver was also damaged from alcohol intake. A blood test revealed he had a fatal level of morphine in his blood.

James Lennon, who knew Mr Weston for 23 years, told the court: "He was one of the best guys I have ever met. He was a gentle giant."

Mr Lennon was with Mr Weston the day before his death. They watched television. He said Mr Weston did not mention drugs and he left at 5.45pm.

DC Mark Dunford of Herts Police said he viewed CCTV which showed Mr Wilmott and Mr Weston leaving the flat and returning together. He said they both looked relaxed.

Mr Thomas said: "Paul had a significant heart condition. In taking morphine the combination of that means the underlining heart condition is too much. It [taking drugs] is so dangerous. So many people are going to be sad about his death."

Verdict: Accidental death.


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