Belfast Telegraph

Girlfriend 'panicked' before calling ambulance for west Belfast overdose victim

By David Young

Mystery surrounds a delay between the discovery of a west Belfast man who died from a drug overdose and the phoning for an ambulance, a court has heard.

Police told a coroner they had been unable to establish what exactly had happened in the hour-plus period after Laurence Donnelly (30) was found unresponsive by his girlfriend.

By the time paramedics arrived at the north Belfast flat where the unemployed forklift truck driver had injected a fatal dose of heroin, he was already dead.

Angela Clarke, who had been going out with Mr Donnelly when he died last August at the Kinnaird Terrace property where she lived, had been scheduled to give evidence at his inquest at Belfast coroner's court yesterday but did not appear.

In the aftermath of the incident last year she told police they had both taken heroin, but she had left at 9.30pm to go to a nearby shop and when she returned at 10pm she said Mr Donnelly was cold and was a "funny colour". She said she then panicked.

Coroner Suzanne Anderson heard that it was not until 11.21pm that an ambulance was called.

Ms Anderson recorded the cause of death as poisoning by heroin.

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