Drugs death was accident

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A lorry driver from Ilkeston, who died after taking his father’s medication, did not mean to end his own life, an inquest has concluded.

Richard Paine was found dead on his bedroom floor in Heathfield Avenue on Bonfire Night last year by his brother.

Derby Coroners Court heard on Thursday that the 44-year-old, who had suffered for years with back pain, had taken a ‘cocktail’ of prescribed painkillers and morphine, belonging to his dad James.

Mr Paine said he had seen his son two days earlier on a Thursday when he had come round for dinner and had complained of pain in his hip.

“He had back pain on and off for quite a while,” he told the court.

“But it was particularly bad then.”

Pathologist David Green said there were high enough levels of morphine found in his system to be fatal, but also high levels of two painkillers he had been prescribed by his GP.

The morphine – it was established – had probably been taken from his parents’ home.

Mr Paine said he was ‘100,000 per cent certain’ his son had not taken his own life, explaining he had filled his car with petrol and bought food for work the next day.

His brother Ian said it was strange he had not turned up for work as he had ‘never been a minute late’ in the past.

Deputy assistant coroner Louise Pinder recorded a verdict of accidental death.