Death of Shrewsbury man found by father was drug-related

By Deborah Hardiman | Shrewsbury | News | Published:

A man found dead at his Shrewsbury flat died of fatal levels of an opiate, an inquest has concluded.

Bryn John Neale, 37, was found by his father Derek at his home, in Whitchurch Road, Ditherington, on January 7 this year.

The cause of death was given as respiratory depression or breathing difficulties caused by opioid toxicity after high levels of the heroin derivative free-morphine was found in his blood.

Mrs Joanne Lees, assistant coroner for Shropshire, told the hearing that a post mortem found that the father of one had levels of heroin in his system "which would have been considered fatal".

"Bryn had amounts of heroin at a level that was likely to cause his death. The level of free-morphine was typical of those seen in fatalities. It is evidence that Bryn used heroin," she said.

Mrs Lees added that use of the drug can result in breathing problems.


Giving evidence at the hearing held at Shirehall, in Shrewsbury, his father Derek said: " I wasn't aware that he was taking drugs. I stayed with him for four months and I didn't notice anything like that.

"He always had money problems. I gave him money many times."


"Although we saw each other often, he was quite secretive. He wouldn't tell me where his money was going. If he was taking drugs, then that would explain it," Mr Neale said.

Mr Neale added he had been in hospital and grew concerned after his son failed to contact him for two days which was unusual. He told the hearing he visited the flat after being discharged and found him in a sitting position on the sofa.

Mrs Lees told the inquest that Bryn, who had anxiety and depression, was pronounced dead by paramedics at 5.30pm. She said West Mercia Police officers visited the upstairs flat and found an adapted inhaler with foil attached in a bedroom cupboard along with a notebook with brown powder on it . She said the foil also had brown powder on it.

She recorded a conclusion that due to the fatal levels of free-morphine and on the balance of probabilities, his death was drug related.

Deborah Hardiman

By Deborah Hardiman

Senior reporter for the Shropshire Star based out of the head office in Ketley. Covering the Telford area.

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