Chesterfield man died after taking 'high level' of drugs, inquest hears

Steven Ball passed away in July 2018.
Steven Ball passed away in July 2018.

A Chesterfield man died after taking a ‘high level’ of medication prescribed for his mum, an inquest heard.

Steven Ball, 35, was found passed away at his mum’s home in Birchwood Crescent, Grangewood, on July 25, 2018.

Mr Ball had a history of mental health issues, alcohol dependency and drug addiction.

At an inquest in Chesterfield today, coroner Peter Nieto, said: “My conclusion is that Steven’s death was drug-related.”

The court heard that Mr Ball had been living in a hostel in Huddersfield prior to his death but was evicted because of excessive drinking. He then moved back in with his mum in Birchwood Crescent.

Unemployed Mr Ball had a history of mental health issues as well as drink and drug addiction.

He had never come to terms with the death of his girlfriend.

On the day of his death Mr Ball and his mum started drinking alcohol at 8am before being joined by some friends.

Throughout the day Mr Ball, who had been educated in Clay Cross and trained as a joiner, drank a bottle of sherry, cider, lager and smoked cannabis.

Between 8pm and 9pm that evening Mr Ball said he was going to sleep. He was found dead at about 11.30pm.

A post-mortem found a high level of Amitriptyline - an anti-depressant - in his system.

Mr Ball’s mum, Julie Betts, had been prescribed Amitriptyline but had not been taking it for a period of time so boxes of the medication were piling up in her home.

In a statement read out during the inquest, Ms Betts said she had no knowledge of her son taking her medication.

Mr Nieto said: “Steven had a high level of Amitriptyline that can cause fatalities or death.

“It is clear that Steven had a long-term problem with alcohol and cannabis.

“On the day of his death he had drank heavily throughout the day.

“It is clear to me that Steven must have been taking the Amitriptyline that was in the living room. Steven’s mum was unaware that he had been taking them.”

He added: “There is no evidence that I can point to that could lead me to suggest that Steven committed suicide.”

Mr Nieto recorded Mr Ball’s medical cause of death as Amitriptyline toxity and concluded he died of a drug-related death.