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Gambling addict Shaun Wright took overdose at halfway house in Dale Street, Chatham, inquest rules

By Ed McConnell

A gambling addict took an overdose at a halfway house, an inquest has heard.

Shaun Wright was found in bed seven hours after an ambulance was called to Dale Street, Chatham, in November.

At an inquest opened earlier this year the 31-year-old's cause of death was given as multi-drug toxicity.

Shaun Wright was found dead in Dale Street, Chatham, on Sunday, November 4
Shaun Wright was found dead in Dale Street, Chatham, on Sunday, November 4

At the time of his death house mates spoke of his suicidal thoughts in the days leading up to the grim discovery.

He'd told one man he hated living in the property since being moved from his home town of Margate fives months previously.

Mr Wright had struggled with a gambling addiction and had wound up in prison after stealing to fund the habit.

House mates of Mr Wright paid tribute to a man who helped them find their feet after they arrived.

Alfie Mitchell, 18, described him as a "great guy" who he'd regularly chat to over a cup of coffee.

Mr Mitchell and the two other men in the property clubbed together to buy a bunch of flowers which they taped to the house's front door.

Neighbour Levi Verrall, 26, also left flowers.

Alfie Mitchell next to flowers left for Mr Wright
Alfie Mitchell next to flowers left for Mr Wright

One resident, who did not wish to be named, had only been living in the house for two days when he had to phone the ambulance after Mr Wright did not respond.

He said: "As soon as I came here Shaun helped me. He'd lend me clothes and cigarettes.

"I'd been living in a tent for four weeks before developing pneumonia and almost dying.

"Obviously I smelt pretty bad and Shaun was kind enough to sort me out.

"I spoke to him a lot in the two days I was here with him.

"He told me he hated living there having moved down from Margate.

"The night before I phoned the ambulance he was in a really bad way and saying he just wanted to take loads of pills and not wake up.

"I calmed him down and he went to bed.

"Later on he was shaving and seemed completely fine... that was the last time I saw him" - a halfway house resident

"Later on he was shaving and seemed completely fine. That was the last time I saw him."

Paramedics had to break the door down with a crowbar to access Mr Wright's room.

Responding to concerns about the length of time it took them to get to the property South East Coast Ambulance Service spokesman Rich Airey said the trust would not comment on details of a private call out.

He did say: "We take all concerns raised seriously and would invite anyone with any concerns to contact us directly so that we can look into them in more detail.

"We prioritise our calls based on information provided by the caller and we are sorry when we take longer than we would want to attend a call.”

An inquest held today at Maidstone's Archbishop's Palace heard Mr Wright had died from mixed drug toxicity.

Katrina Hepburn, assistant coroner for Mid Kent and Medway concluded Mr Wright's death was drug-related.

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