Drugs tragedy of man (41) found dead near Burnley hotel

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A MAN who was found dead on a banking near to Burnley’s Holiday Inn after going missing for seven weeks had heroin in his system.

An inquest into the death of Mr John Meikle (41), of no fixed abode, heard how he had just been released from prison before he died in March 2010.

Home Office pathologist Philip Lumb said the sedative alprazolam was also present in Mr Meikle’s body and could have combined with the heroin to cause his death.

“Because he had been in prison his tolerance level towards drugs could have been lowered. He may have taken, what to him was a normal dose of heroin but it may have had a more profound effect on him.”

Mr Nicholas Kirkbright, a friend of Mr Meikle’s, last saw him as they walked to a friend’s house near the Mitre pub.

“I walked him to where he could see the house he was going to,” said Mr Kirkbright. “He got to the house but after I had not contact with him.

“He may have been coming to see me when he holed up where he did.”

East Lancashire Coroner Richard Taylor returned a verdict of accidental death saying: “Sadly when John came out of prison he may have been drug free meaning his tolerance level was low. It is likely that he took heroin which caused him confusion and also slowed his breathing down and then sadly he passed away.”