Birmingham coroner Aidan Cotter has issued a stark warning on the use of cocaine —(Birmingham Post & Mail)

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Birmingham Post & Mail Ltd

August 1, 2013

Byline: JANE TYLER Staff reporter

BIRMINGHAM’S coroner has issued a stark warning to cocaine users: carry on taking the drug and eventually it will kill you.

Aidan Cotter’s comments came after a woman died after taking the illegal drug, despite having been a user for only 18 months.

Birmingham Coroner’s Court was told how single cleaner Sharon Goulding, aged 39, was found dead at her home in Clements Road, Yardley, on June 29 last year. A post mortem examination showed she had died from cocaine poisoning.

A statement from her GP, read out at the inquest, told how she was on prescription medication for epilepsy and depression. 

The statement also revealed that in October 2011 she was admitted to hospital after a cocaine overdose and entered a treatment programme where she told staff she had been taking the drug for over 12 months.Pathologist Adrian Warfield said although Miss Goulding was a regular cocaine user, taking the drug was a “lottery” for anyone.

“You never know what other substances are mixed in – street dealers are not particular about what they use to boost their profits.”

He went on: “The effects of cocaine on the human body are unpredictable, so taking it is a lottery as to whether you survive or not.”

Mr Cotter, recording a verdict that Miss Goulding died from cocaine abuse, echoed Dr Warfield’s warning.

“The public need to know how dangerous cocaine and certain other drugs are,” he said.

“There’s a tendency by many to think that taking cocaine isn’t much worse than smoking.”

He added: “When you take cocaine it is addictive and you cannot just take it or leave it. So if you keep using it you will die.

“It may be the first time you take it, or 10 years down the line, but you will die and the public need to know that.”

He said he was making it official that Miss Goulding died from cocaine misuse to hammer home the message that the drug killed.

“I’m not going to sit here and pretend this was an accident, as if Sharon had been hit by a bus,” he said.

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