Clayton labourer dies after a cocktail of drugs and alcohol, inquest hears


A labourer died after a night of binging on a mix of drugs and alcohol, an inquest heard.

Shaun Anthony Lapthorn who worked assisting a plasterer, had been drinking at his home on May 30, 2016, North Staffordshire Coroner’s Court was told.

The 26-year-old lived there with his parents in Seabridge Lane, Clayton.

In a statement, his father, Anthony Lapthorn said he was proud of his son, who had lessened his drug use in 2015 and had been clean of drugs for a while before the night of his death.

Mr Lapthorn’s statement said he had returned home at 11.30pm to find his son was already drunk and asked his son’s friends to leave as they were creating lots of ‘noise and ruckus’.

At about 12.30am, the following day Shaun Lapthorn told his father that he was going out and went to Windermere Street, Stoke-on-Trent, where he continued drinking and taking drugs, which were legal highs at the time but are now illegal.

At 2.45am, Anthony Lapthorn rang his son to see where he was and he replied he would be home soon and to keep the door unlocked, the inquest heard.

Anthony Lapthorn then went to bed, but sent a text to his son at 3.10am, to which he responded, ‘just chilling’.

No more contact was made between Anthony Lapthorn and his son, the court heard.

Shaun Lapthorn’s body was found by his friend Sarah Barr at her house on Windermere Street.

In a statement read out by Coroner Ian Smith, Ms Barr said her friend had fallen asleep in the armchair and then onto the floor and was heard snoring.

At about 1pm on May 31, she found his body and called 999 and tried to revive him herself.

Detective Constable Adrian Toon told the inquest heard there was evidence the dead man had consumed alcohol but there was no immediate evidence of legal highs.

The court heard a post-mortem examination report showed that Shaun Lapthorn had a mixture of drugs including legal highs, a prescribed drug for nerve pain, antidepressant medication and large quantities of alcohol and other substances.

Shaun’s blood alcohol level was 117 milligrammes per 100 millilitres of blood. The drink-drive limit is 80.

Coroner Smith said the amount would have been higher earlier on in the night.


The coroner recorded a verdict of death by drugs and alcohol.

He said: “This was tragic and maybe somebody will learn what could happen almost accidentally.”



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