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Ramsgate: John Smith died from alcohol and drug intoxication


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A 35-year-old dad with a baby just months old died after smoking crack cocaine.

John Smith went to bed after feeling unwell at a friend's home in West Cliff Road, Ramsgate, but never woke up.

An inquest into his death heard he had been sleeping rough in the days before his death on October 15 last year.

Canterbury Coroners' Court (3296982)
Canterbury Coroners' Court (3296982)

On that day he met friend James Martin at 12.30pm and the pair had lunch at the Salvation Army centre in Ramsgate.

Mr Martin said: "I went home after and John said he was going to score, which I can only assume meant he was going to buy drugs.

"At about 6pm, John came to my house and we bought some cans of lager from the garage next door.

"He said he felt unwell as he had been having a tough time."

The pair smoked crack cocaine and drank the lager.

Mr Smith, who was unemployed and a known drug user, asked his friend if he could sleep in his room at about 7.30pm, as he felt unwell.

Waking up shortly before 10pm, Mr Martin was alarmed to see that Mr Smith's body position had not changed since he fell asleep.

He shook his shoulders in a bid to wake him up, but his body was cold.

"I could not feel a pulse and called my neighbour in to help," he said.

The hearing at Canterbury Coroners' Court was told that Mr Martin attempted to perform CPR, but his efforts and those of paramedics were unsuccessful.

A post-mortem revealed Mr Smith had high levels of benzoylecgonine and morphine in his body, which are indicators of cocaine and heroin use.

He was also two times the drink-drive limit.

Assistant coroner James Dillon was told by police that Mr Smith had suicidal tendencies, but there was no evidence to support the theory he had taken his own life.

It was ruled he had died of alcohol and drugs intoxication.

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