Family and friends pay tribute to “cheeky” Chard dad, Derek Cummins, after accidental overdose death — (Chard and Ilminster News)

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Chard and Ilminster News

2 Mar 2016

FAMILY and friends have paid a touching tribute to a man who died after accidentally overdosing on prescriptions drugs.

Derek Cummins, 40, who lived in Chard, died on September 30 last year after overdosing on the anti-depressant drug citalopram.

An inquest held into his death yesterday (Tuesday) heard that Mr Cummins, who had two children aged six and eight, suffered a seizure in the middle of the night after taking the drug before he went to bed.

The inquest heard that paramedics were called to his house, but he was declared dead at the scene.

A post-mortem examination revealed that Mr Cummins had 6.1mg per litre of citalopram in his blood.

This is more than 30 times the 0.2mg per litre that is considered safe by medical experts.

Mr Cummins was prescribed the drug by his doctor after he was diagnosed as depressed in July 2013, but after a brief hiatus from the drug, had been put back on the medication by his GP at the start of September 2015.

Following the inquest, Mr Cummins’ family paid a touching tribute to him. An avid Chelsea FC fan, Mr Cummins was originally from Slough and left home at 20, before eventually moving to Chard in 2005. He had a son and a daughter, aged six and eight.

Speaking after the inquest, his mother Martha Cummins paid tribute to her son, and said: “He was a cheeky little sod, and he was very intelligent at school.

“He had two sisters, one elder and one younger, and when he was about 12 or 13 were younger he used to take his younger sister to football matches.

“I used to travel down to see him every couple of months, sometimes more. He was still that cheeky gentleman. I will see him again.”

Sharon Cummins, his sister, said: “He really loved his kids and he was a good brother, he always looked out for you.

“If you had any problems he would always be there for you. That sums him up.”

Elaine Shears, a friend of Derek’s, said: “He just watched out for you, he was just there for you.

“He was a laugh, a joke all the time.”

Senior Coroner for Somerset Eastern Tony Williams said that there was “next to no” evidence that Mr Cummins had meant to commit suicide and recorded a verdict of accidental death.