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Brendan Feeney inquest told of dangers of illegal drug use

By Donna Deeney

A coroner has warned of the dangers of taking illicit drugs after a man suffered a fatal heart attack after snorting a drug commonly known as 'super coke'.

Brendan Feeney had taken a substantial amount of Methylenedioxypyrovalerone (MDPV) over a two-day period in September 2014.

The inquest into the death of the 48-year-old, who was from Limavady, was heard in Coleraine yesterday.

Among the witnesses was Kathleen Moore, the occupier of the house in Woodland Walk in Limavady where Mr Feeney and a group of other men and women had been "coming and going" for two days.

She said Mr Feeney arrived at her house on September 23, 2014 with around 10 tins of beer.

Some time later she recalled going into the living room where she saw him snorting "three lines of a white substance".

Ms Moore said she told him to "get that stuff out of my house" before going back out to her kitchen.

Mr Feeney, who had a number of health issues including epilepsy diabetes, COPD and pancreatitis, stayed overnight at Ms Moore's house and continued drinking the following day.

She said that around 11pm that night Mr Feeney, along with another woman, left her house and went looking for more drugs.

The court heard that around an hour and a half later Mr Feeney and the woman returned to the house in Woodland Walk and that Mr Feeney "was eating his face off".

Ms Moore said that Mr Feeney was "acting strange" so they checked his blood-sugar levels, injected him with insulin and gave him soup and bread.

Mr Feeney was later seen snorting more "white powder" and a short time after this slumped to the ground.

Some of the people in the house laid him down on the sofa in the living room, the inquest was told.

However, around 6.30am on September 26, the people in the house realised Mr Feeney had stopped breathing so an ambulance was called and Ms Moore began CPR.

He was transferred to Altnagelvin Hospital's Intensive Care Unit where he took a second heart attack and was put on life support.

Dr Declan Grace, a consultant in critical care at Altnagelvin, said life support was withdrawn after tests showed Mr Feeney was "brain dead".

A post mortem examination found evidence of a number of drugs in Mr Feeney's system but none in a fatal dose.

There was a "significantly high level" of MDPV described by the State Pathologist Jack Crane as a "stimulant" with "no therapeutic use" and that death had been caused by "poisoning due to MDPV".

Summing up the inquest, coroner Suzanne Anderson said the circumstances which led to Mr Feeney's death "highlighted the very grave dangers involved in taking illicit drugs".

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