'Plethora' of drug deaths in Aldershot, says coronerBy Amy Taylor
February 28, 2013
A CORONER has singled out Aldershot as a particular area of concern for drug-related deaths, putting them down to ‘foolishness and indulgence’.
Andrew Bradley, sitting at Alton Magistrates’ Court on February 27, said the death of David Nolan, of Cargate Avenue, was just one in a ‘plethora’ of cases he had seen from the town.
Mr Nolan, 51, was found frothing at the mouth on December 15 after taking a mix of alcohol and drugs including heroin, morphine, tramadol and diazepam.
Mr Bradley ruled he had died from an overdose, calling it death by misadventure, and said he was certain Mr Nolan did not intend to kill himself.
“It’s a matter of such sadness that people waste their lives,” he said. “I wonder if it was a good trip. I really do wonder what buzz people get from it.
“It does seem to have a fatal attraction for some people – for him it was the combination he was piling onto a central nervous system that’s saying ‘stop, stop, stop’.”
The coroner addressed Mr Nolan’s sisters, Stephanie Cooke and Julie Jackson, who were at the inquest.
“I’m sorry that you have lost a brother and that you are here having to do this today. When you dice with drugs, you dice with death,” he said.
“It’s very sad and unrewarding that people just die as a result of foolishness and indulgence.”
The women told the News and Mail it was difficult to understand the death and that their brother’s drug use seemed to have worsened after he moved to Aldershot three years ago.
“We lost another brother last year – two in the space of eight months – and I think he just didn’t know how to cope with it,” they said.
Mr Bradley said he saw too many cases of overdoses, from ‘Aldershot particularly’. He apologised to the family that there was a ‘dearth of evidence’ about Mr Nolan’s death but explained he had stayed overnight at a friend’s house in Printing House Court, Sebast-opol Road, the night he died, and two witnesses had declined to attend the inquest.
It was Mr Nolan’s girlfriend, Lisa Wemyss, and friend Andrew Savage who called the ambulance, and PC James Balcombe, who was called to the scene was told they had checked on him several times during the night before he was found not breathing.
When Mrs Cooke and Mrs Jackson asked why his friends had not called an ambulance sooner, Mr Bradley replied: “It’s a very common situation for people to get themselves into a drugs stupor.
“Foaming at the mouth, snoring, making extraordinary noises for these people is quite common. It’s only when they get into respiratory difficulties that they do anything about it.”