Nelson man (49) died after taking heroin

Royal Blackburn Hospital.
Royal Blackburn Hospital.

A Nelson man who had a history of drug abuse died after taking too much heroin, an inquest has heard.

Paul Smith (49), of no fixed address, was found dead by a friend at a house in Fir Street where he was staying after recently coming out of prison for burglary.

Burnley Coroner’s Court was also told how he had recently spent two days in the Royal Blackburn Hospital for respiratory problems he had suffered for a long time but often refused treatment.

Dr Aslam, who conducted the post-mortem examination, found large traces of heroine and morphine in Mr Smith’s body, which indicated he had taken drugs just before his death.

There were also small traces of cannabis, methadone and amphetamine found in his system.

Dr Aslam concluded that, because Mr Smith already suffered from severe bronchopneumonia, the drugs would have put too much strain on his lungs, causing respiratory failure.

Coroner Richard Taylor said: “The underlining factor here is the heroine in the system.

“Mr Smith’s tolerance to drugs would have clearly lowered while he was in prison. He’s come out and used more drugs and that has contributed to his death.

“The only realistic conclusion I can come to is that of drug-related death.”