A recovering heroin user was found dead in his home with a lethal amount of drugs in his system the day after losing his job.
Charles ‘Charlie’ Mackereth, 35, was found by his partner, Marcella Restrick, in the home they shared in Lime Tree Avenue, Darley Dale, on April 3.
Speaking in Chesterfield coroner’s court on Monday, Miss Restrick said she last saw Mr Mackereth at 8.30am that day and had spoken to him during the day.
She said she returned home at 8.15pm and when she went upstairs, she found him sitting up in bed.
Miss Restrick said: “I went into the bedroom but he was blue and I started shaking him and I was begging him to wake up.”
The paramedics and police arrived shortly afterwards, but he was pronounced dead at 8.52pm.
A post mortem on Mr Mackereth’s body was conducted by pathologist Andrew Hitchcock and a lethal level of morphine was found.
Mr Hitchcock said the morphine levels could have been from the prescripted medication but that there was evidence of heroin in his system as well. He said he could not be clear how the heroin had got in to his body.
Mr Mackereth was a recovering heroin user and was not believed to have used it for several months.
“The heroin was present and it was present in levels that were significant,” Dr Hitchcock said.
He explained heroin users will lose tolerance for the drug very quickly, meaning a dose that previously would not have harmed them could be lethal.
Miss Restrick said when she met Mr Mackereth in September he had been off heroin for six months and he had not used it in the time they had been together.
“The weeks before he was happy. He’d just got a new job on the Monday and he was so pleased,” she added.
The following day someone ran into the back of Miss Restrick’s car writing it off, which meant Mr Mackereth had to call his employer and tell him he was unable to get to work.
“They said ‘well don’t come back then’, which I know upset him because he’d just relocated to Derbyshire,” she added.
PC Nathan Grant, of Matlock police, said foil and drugs paraphanalia were found around Mr Mackereth’s body.
A needle was later found in some clothing that had been put over him to keep him warm.
The cause of death was given as morphine toxicity and the coroner recorded a verdict of death by misadventure.