Dangerous cocktail of morphine and drink led to Chesterfield man’s tragic death, court hears

A Chesterfield man appeared before magistrates after a night on a dangerous cocktail of his mother’s morphine and “considerable” alcohol ended with a friend’s death.

Thursday, 3rd June 2021, 7:43 am
Updated Thursday, 3rd June 2021, 7:53 am

Gary Caudwell’s friend was found “unresponsive” the morning after the pair took the strong opiate as well as “considerable amounts of alcohol”.

Prosecutor Fatima Laher described to Chesterfield Magistrates Court how “38 cans and bottles” of alcohol were found at Caudwell’s friend’s Bolsover home.

She told how at some point during the evening on August 18 last year Caudwell fell asleep and found his friend “had passed away” the following morning.

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Chesterfield Magistrates Court

A post-mortem showed the defendant’s friend died as a result of the “combined toxic effects of multiple substances taken together”.

Caudwell’s solicitor Ben Strelley, describing the incident as “tragic in many respects”, said: “There’s no suggestion the defendant supplied the morphine to the other male.”

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Mr Strelley added “he had no idea of the other substances the other male had taken” - which included tranquilizer Xanax and antidepressant fluoxetine – and caused respiratory failure.

The solicitor said “for Mr Caudwell this has been difficult” and that since his friend’s death the defendant had been treated for post-traumatic stress disorder.

He said the defendant - of previous good character - had come to be in possession of the morphine after collecting the prescription on his mother’s behalf as her carer.

Caudwell, 37, of Netherthorpe Close, Staveley, admitted possession of a class A drug.

District Judge Andrew Davison, describing the night as a “tragic outcome”, fined him £150 and and handed down £85 court costs and £34 victim surcharge.

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