Smallthorne man took accidental painkiller overdose, inquest finds

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A Smallthorne man who had a history of alcohol and drug abuse died after taking too many painkillers, an inquest heard.

Mark Holdcroft, of Ford Green Road, was found to have died as a result of taking too many co-codamol tablets, which had been prescribed for his father.

North Staffordshire Coroner’s Court heard the 28-year-old had a broken jaw so his father, Christopher Holdcroft, allowed him to take some of his co-codamol pain relief pills to ease the pain.

But a few days before Mr Holdcroft’s death, his father discovered he had stolen a full box of his medication and he told the hearing he challenged his son about it, but he was “too spaced out” to reply.

On April 21, 2014 Mr Holdcroft got out of bed but collapsed.

Paramedics arrived at the flat on Richmond Terrace, Shelton, but pronounced Mr Holdcroft dead.

Mr Holdcroft had suffered from drink problems that affected his employment and home life, the coroner’s court heard.

After using cannabis since his teens he went on to use hard drugs throughout his life.

At the time of his death, Mr Holdcroft had been trying to get off drugs, and had been placed on a methadone programme after his release from prison in November 2013.

In January 2011 he had been jailed for more than three years after drunkenly attempting to carry out a robbery whilst on bail for threatening a woman with a knife.

When he was 24 he was fined for being drunk and disorderly in Blurton and aged 22, Mr Holdcroft was found guilty of robbery after drunkenly demanding a young man on a bus hand over his phone.

The post mortem revealed a small amount prescription drugs and paracetamol but the concentrations were not sufficient to have killed Mr Holdcroft.

North Staffordshire deputy coroner Anthony Curzon recorded: “A drug related death.

“There is no evidence to show the deceased intended to take his own life and I am satisfied that any overdose was accidental.”

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