Drugs death of Nelson man (36)

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A 36-year-old man said to have a “heart of gold” died after taking amphetamine, an inquest has heard.

Gavin James Thomas was taken to Royal Blackburn Hospital after collapsing at his home in Castle Street, Nelson, in July, but sadly died, the Burnley hearing was told.

The court was told that Mr Thomas had been brought up in Barnoldswick and his mother, Elizabeth Thomas, said: “He was the nicest person you could ever meet. He had a heart of gold.”

She said her son had had a drug problem since he was 14, beginning with sniffing gas and moving to taking heroin and amphetamines.

DS Charlie Haynes, from East Division CID, said police had been called by the hospital after reports that Mr Thomas had been injected with drugs and two people had been arrested, but there was no evidence to indicate where the drugs he had taken had come from.

A report from pathologist Dr Naomi Carter said Mr Thomas had suffered a heart attack and was resuscitated, but by that time his brain had suffered a hypoxic ischaemic injury which caused his death.

East Lancashire Coroner Richard Taylor recorded a conclusion that Mr Thomas’s death was drug-related.