Original article no longer available
The Coventry Telegraph
May 3 2007
By Kerry Beadling
A COVENTRY man originally thought to have died of “bad” heroin was killed by a lethal mixture of alcohol and prescribed drugs, an inquest heard.
Alan Leslie Randall, a father of three, was found in the back of a Fiat after two of his friends had gone inside Sainsbury’s in Courthouse Green, Coventry.
Police originally thought a bad batch of heroin may have killed the 39-year-old on December 15 at 2.30pm as, less than three hours later, the body of a 49-year-old man was found in a flat in Watcombe Road, Henley Green.
He was thought to have died as a result of bad heroin.
An inquest at Coventry Magistrates’ Court heard how Mr Randall, of Stoney Stanton Road, had been using opiate drugs since 1994 but had been in contact with the community drugs team and was taking methadone, a prescribed heroin substitute.
A toxicology report found Mr Randall had taken a combination of alcohol, methadone and anti-depressants.
The levels, although not toxic individually, had been lethal when combined.
Dr Kevin West, consultant pathologist at Leicester Royal Infirmary, who conducted the postmortem examination, confirmed blood results showed 201mg of alcohol to 100ml of blood – roughly two and a half times the drink-drive limit – 768nanograms of methadone per ml of blood and 2,376 nanograms of anti-depressant venlafaxine per ml of blood.
He said: “The effect of methadone is highly variable depending on how used they are to having opiate drugs in their system.
“The level is not massively high for a person that was used to opiates.”
Family members were present in court to hear deputy coroner David Collins record a verdict of misadventure.