Bury St Edmunds man had lethal amount of prescription drug in blood, inquest hears

PUBLISHED: 05:30 07 August 2019 | UPDATED: 13:32 07 August 2019

Suffolk Coroners Court in Ipswich Picture: ADAM HOWLETT

Suffolk Coroners Court in Ipswich Picture: ADAM HOWLETT


A post-mortem examination into the death of a man from Bury St Edmunds has revealed he had more than twice the lethal level of a prescribed drug in his blood, an inquest has heard.

Noel Byrne, 44, was found to be unresponsive by a friend at a property in the Suffolk town on June 14 shortly after 9.30pm.

An ambulance was called to the house in St Andrew's Street North and paramedics worked to save Mr Byrne for around 20 minutes before he was pronounced dead at 10.19pm.

An inquest into his death, which took place at Suffolk Coroner's Court in Ipswich, heard that Mr Byrne had been a long term drug user and had relapsed on June 14, taking drugs during the afternoon.

He then went to the house of a friend, who left him there sleeping on the sofa, before returning to find him unresponsive on the floor.

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He had previously been prescribed medication to help him with his addiction.

While reading out Mr Byrne's toxicology report, area coroner for Suffolk, Nigel Parsley said that there was more than double the amount of the prescribed drug 'that would usually be fatal' for some one with a tolerance to the medication.

He also said that even if the ambulance was called earlier, it would have 'most likely not have changed the outcome'.

Mr Parsley said that there was no evidence that Mr Byrne had taken his own life, concluding that the overdose had been taken 'accidentally'.

His conclusion was that the death was drug-related.

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