Shropshire Star

Methadone played a part in death of man found in flat, coroner rules

A man found in a flat died a drug-related death, a coroner has said.

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The inquest into the death of Wayne Alan Cutton was heard at Shirehall

Wayne Alan Cutton, 48, of Whitchurch, was found dead at a flat in Claypitt Street on March 21.

An inquest into his death earlier his year was adjourned when Mr Clutton's sister, Esther Clutton-Harris, told the hearing she wanted to hear more evidence about the methadone found in his system.

At the re-conveyed hearing in Shrewsbury on Tuesday she said that she still believed that the amount of methadone he would have taken from the two bottles found in the flat would not have been enough for him to overdose but rather would have been a therapeutic dose.

She said: "Wayne was a drug addict. We accepted that he was but he was still our brother."

At the previous hearing, Shropshire Coroner, John Ellery, was told that paramedics attended the address after the alarm was raised by concerned relatives.

It was also told that Dr Kerry Taylor, a toxicologist at Toxicology UK, found low amounts of caffeine and codeine, medium amounts of diazepam and similar prescription drugs, in Mr Clutton's system but a high amount of methadone which likely contributed to Mr Clutton's death.

Speaking at the re-convened hearing on Tuesday, Dr Taylor said the two bottles of prescription methadone that had been found at the flat, one empty and one about two-thirds empty, could have accounted for the fatal level in Mr Clutton's system along with the other drugs in his blood.

"The problem with methadone is that you can get a very wide range of concentration and toleration," she said.

She said it was also a drug which would accumulate in the body.

Mr Ellery said the medical cause of death had been shown to be a multi-drug toxicity.

"The level of methadone contributed to his death along with the other drugs in his body," he said.

"I have to reach a conclusion and when I conclude that Wayne died from a drug-related death, that's all I can do. His death was due to multi-drug toxicity to which methadone played a part, but not a sole part."

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