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30-year-old Newbury man died from heroin overdose, inquest hears

Toxicology tests showed 'very high' level of chemicals related to heroin use

Chris Ord


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A NEWBURY man was found dead at his home after taking a fatal heroin overdose in February.

An inquest heard that Christopher Alan Hensley had a “very high” level of the class A drug in his system.

His body was discovered on the floor of his London Road flat by his mother’s partner on the morning of Friday, February 24.

The family of the 30-year-old told the inquest at Reading Town Hall on Friday, July 7, how they believed he had stopped using hard drugs following a previous overdose in 2016.

The inquest heard how he had told doctors last year that the incident had been a “one-off” after he had been given the drugs by a friend and admitted he was “stupid to take it”.

Paramedics were also called on the morning of his death, but found no signs of life.

A report from the South Central Ambulance Service, read out at the inquest, said the ambulance crew had noted evidence of potential drug use in the flat, while analysis of Mr Hensley’s phone revealed messages indicating he had recently bought drugs.

A toxicology report confirmed the presence of chemicals in the blood linked to heroin use, which led doctors to conclude: “We can say for certain he had taken heroin.”

Following the post mortem examination, pathologist Dr Suk Ghataura said the level of heroin metabolites found in Mr Hensley’s system was “very high – well within the range seen in fatalities, even in some people who have a very high tolerance”.

After considering all the evidence presented, assistant coroner for Berkshire Emma Jones concluded that the cause of death was drug-related.

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