Grieving dad brings son's inquest to a halt with procedure-stopping question

An inquest into the drugs-related death of a young Ludlow man was brought to a temporary halt when the grieving father asked a procedure-stopping question.

The inquest into the death of George Rogers is being held at Shirehall
The inquest into the death of George Rogers is being held at Shirehall

Andrew Rogers son, 27-year-old George, was found dead by paramedics at his flat in Marston’s Terrace, Ludlow, on Saturday, May 8, after someone called 999... but he was alone in the flat.

“If he was on his own, who put him in the recovery position?” asked Mr Rogers at the inquest in Shrewsbury.

Senior Shropshire coroner John Ellery had outlined how toxicology reports had found a mix of heroin, alcohol and cocaine that had been enough to kill the young man.

“He was in the recovery position,” Mr Rogers said. “I don’t think the police have investigated and not pursued it as much as they should have.”

Mr Ellery then adjourned the inquest at Shirehall to try to find some answers for the father, who attended the hearing with Andrew’s mum, Kerri Garnham by his side.

When the inquest re-convened Mr Ellerey told the inquest, which was there to discover how Mr Rogers had died, that the “information was always here”.

“George lived on his own but that is not to say he was on his own when it happened,” said Mr Ellery. “We know that somebody called the ambulance and the ambulance people called the police.”

“The officers debriefed the caller but the caller did not provide much information. That was the last person to see him alive but they wouldn’t speak to the police and provided no statement.”

But Mr Ellery said there were “no signs of a struggle or foul play. There was no suicide note or any further information.”

He added that it was a sign of the world in which Mr Rogers had found himself that his associates had not wanted to get involved in providing information to the police.

“They made the call to 999 and left the scene. They must have put George in the recovery position.”

Mr Ellery concluded that it would be a “pointless exercise if somebody did not want to speak to the police to then summons them” to an inquest.

He added to the parents: “I do not believe a further adjournment would get any more information for you.

“I am afraid it’s the world that George was involved in.”

George’s mum, Kerri Garnham told the inquest that her son had been vulnerable ever since having brain surgery for a malignant brain tumour at the age of two.

“It was a miracle that he came through that,” she said. She had seen George just the day before he died.

She added: “He was just a very, very kind lad who had lots of friends and a kind heart. He loved animals, his mum and dad and his sisters. He was a family lad.

“The cause of his death was a tiny part of who he was. He was a good lad, who loved sport,” she added.

But he had fallen in with the wrong crowd, she added.

The coroner recorded that George had died from a toxic combination of opioid and alcohol toxicity.

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