Letchworth man found dead at Hitchin McDonald’s died of heroin overdose

A MAN who was found dead in a McDonald’s toilet died of a heroin overdose, an inquest has concluded.

Letchworth GC resident Martin Driver was pronounced dead at the Hitchin branch of the fast food chain in December last year, aged 38.

An inquest into the death of Mr Driver, who lived with his father Derek in Broughton Hill, was held today (Thursday), when a lethal injection of Class A drug heroin was recorded as the cause.

Reading a statement from a McDonald’s manager at the Nightingale Road branch, deputy coroner Graham Danbury said the alarm was first raised when it was discovered that the disabled toilet was locked with no response inside. A knife was then used to attempt to prise open the lock.

Speaking at Hatfield Coroner’s Court, Mr Danbury said: “Together with another manager they managed to get it open and then realised a man was sitting slumped forward. They noticed drug-using equipment around.

“One of the members of staff had nursing experience and realised the person they had found was dead. Paramedics arrived but there was nothing that could be done.”

A toxicology by Dr Rajiv Swamy, consultant pathologist for the East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust, revealed that although alcohol was found in Mr Driver’s blood, a heroin injection had caused his death.

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Mr Danbury added: “With a drug like heroin someone who is used to it can stand larger doses. There is no evidence that he intended anything other than to get the high that people expect when they take heroin.

“But he misread the situation and injected himself with rather more than his body could take. It’s clear that the use of drugs was the cause of death.”

A verdict of death by respiratory and cardiac arrest due to fatal heroin misuse was recorded.

Mr Driver’s mother Linda Dickinson travelled from Orpington in Kent for the inquest and spoke to the Comet afterwards.

She said: “He was a person that was going through a bad time. When he separated from his partner and didn’t see his children it was difficult for him. I’m pleased as his mother that like his father I’ve always stood by him, even when others didn’t.”

Asked how she would remember her son, she added: “He was very artistic and interested in music. And he loved cooking.”

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