Farnworth heroin addict found dead after injecting overdose
A DRUG addict who tried to turn his life around was found dead on a pathway after taking a heroin overdose, an inquest heard.
Jamie Ashworth, aged 37, of Exeter Avenue, Farnworth, was found in Elsdon Gardens, Tonge Moor, on Saturday, July 6, after injecting a high dose of the drug.
Mr Ashworth had been a regular user of heroin for about 16 years but had attempted to give up completely during a 28-day sentence at Forest Bank Prison.
During his time at the prison he was put on a programme of withdrawal drugs and on his release, two days before his death, would have had no heroin in his system.
In the early hours of the morning of his death Mr Ashworth’s aunt, Sharon Smith, had argued with him over his heroin use, the inquest at Bolton Coroner’s Court heard.
She had asked him to leave their Exeter Avenue home at 3.30am after her 10 and 11-year-old grandchildren told her they had seen him taking the drug.
A statement read out from witness Jayne Stanley, of Birch Street, said at 5am the same morning Mr Ashworth had knocked on her door asking to use the toilet.
She said: “I had never seen him before but he asked could he come into the house to use the toilet, saying someone else had told him it would be ok to do this.
“He kept asking for things like cigarettes and a lighter and asked for a syringe and a spoon. At this point I told him to move on.”
At around 9.30am a by-stander spotted what appeared to be bundle of clothes in Elsdon Gardens but, after realising it was a person, he and another man called paramedics.
Pathologist Dr Patrick Waugh said Mr Ashworth had external signs consistent with being a regular heroin user.
Blood and urine toxicology reports showed Mr Ashworth had a high level of heroin in his body — but as a regular user this may have been his usual dose.
Dr Waugh said: “As a chronic user Mr Ashworth would have built up a fairly significant tolerance.
“In a naive user these levels would be enough to kill someone and having gone through detoxification Mr Ashworth’s resistance to the drug would have been reduced.”
Assistant coroner Alison Mulch ruled the cause of death as heroin toxicity and said Mr Ashworth’s aunt had done everything she could to try and get her nephew to give up drugs.