A WIDOW has made an emotional plea for people to stay away from the illegal party drug mephedrone after her husband killed himself after taking it.

Darren Stott, aged 39, was found dead in woods behind Canon Slade School, in Bradshaw, Bolton, on May 23, by his brother, Jason, two days after his family reported him missing.

At an inquest into his death, deputy coroner Alan Walsh recorded an open verdict, saying he could not be sure the father-of-three and grandfather had intended to take his own life because the drug alters the way people think.

Following the inquest, Mr Stott’s widow, Lindsay, claimed mephedrone, also known as “bubble” or “meow meow”, is easily available in Bolton.

She said: “It is destroying families. It is not looked upon like heroin and other drugs.

It is recreational. It affects the least likely people.” Pathologist Emil Salmo told the court that Mr Stott had taken fatal doses of methadone and the anti-depressant amitriptyline.

Mephedrone was also in his system.

Mitul Gangari, a senior substance misuse practitioner who monitored Mr Stott’s methadone use, said, Mr Stott was not taking methadone as a heroin substitute, but using it to relieve pain from a knee injury. He added Mr Stott, of Pimlott Road, Hall i’th’ Wood, had never shown himself or his doctors any sign that he had suicidal thoughts.

Mrs Stott told the court how, in the six months before his death, his behaviour had become unpredictable.

On May 20 the couple had an argument about his erratic driving.

During the night he left her a love letter in a drawer where she would find it as well as a note saying “sorry”

with seven kisses on it.

He left the house, taking her anti-depressants.

Deputy coroner Mr Walsh said: “I’m not sure he intended to take his own life or his mind was capable of making the decision.

“I have to warn people that mephedrone may be known as a partytype drug but I have dealt with other cases where it has had a major affect on their minds.”