Published: 00:01, 17 November 2016
A loving husband and father died after taking “a combination of legal highs” which triggered an undetected heart condition, an inquest heard.
The hearing was told how Folkestone man Benjamin Wyatt, 37, died on July 30 after taking the drugs he bought from the internet – just days before they were made illegal to purchase.
The tragic details were heard before the Central and South East Kent coroner’s court in Folkestone last week.
A statement read to the court by the coroner Kate Thomas from Mr Wyatt’s wife, said he had never suffered side effects from taking legal highs before.
The pathologist’s report, read to the court by Miss Thomas, revealed Mr Wyatt had an undetected heart condition and that his heart was “in a poor condition”.
Miss Thomas continued from the report: “There was little known about the extent of this drug in the literature.
“This is the problem with legal highs. There are few studies on the effects of legal highs.”
Giving evidence, the police officer who led an investigation explained that Mr Wyatt had bought the drugs five days before “the new law prevented their sale” and that officers had immediately ruled out any third-party involvement in his death.
The officer told the court police found “various packets” with the “vast majority” of the 20 or so packets unopened, adding that the “substance itself was in the form of a powder”.
He said: “There are quite a number of different substances which had become used as legal highs.
“There are often words on the packet stating not for human consumption because that’s not what the chemicals were designed for.”
Miss Thomas recorded a verdict of drug related death.
She concluded: “He used a combination of legal highs which exacerbated his condition and led to his untimely death.”
For advice on “legal highs” and other drugs, visit www.talktofrank.com/drug/new-psychoactive-substances or www.nhs.uk/Livewell/drugs/Pages/Drugsoverview.aspx