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Man died of overdose hours after telling mum he was kicking drugs

By Lisa Smyth

Published 07/04/2016

An addict told his mother he hated his life and wanted to get off drugs hours before a fatal heroin overdose, a court heard
An addict told his mother he hated his life and wanted to get off drugs hours before a fatal heroin overdose, a court heard

An addict told his mother he hated his life and wanted to get off drugs hours before a fatal heroin overdose, a court heard.

Roberta Wilson sobbed as she gave evidence at the inquest into the death of son Steven Wilson (35) at his home in Desertmartin, Co Londonderry, last August.

She told the court he had survived a previous overdose just a week beforehand after she injected him with adrenalin.

Fighting back tears, she said: "He said he hated his life. He was fed up with taking drugs and wanted to get off them. His son had been taken off him."

In a deposition read out to the court in Antrim yesterday, Mrs Wilson added her son was a "great child, a great youngster".

"He was a good child but when he was 13, he started to run with a bad crowd," she said. "I think he was smoking dope.

"When he was 18 I returned to the house one day to find him in the living room with others. I could see a needle in his arm."

According to Ms Wilson's statement, the family moved from Ballymena to Magherafelt after her son was forced out of the town. He then became more dependent on drugs, openly admitted taking them and began to sell them. As a result, he was forced to move numerous times.

The court was told that Mr Wilson was seriously hurt in a motorcycle accident, breaking his neck and ribs, and losing an eye. Mrs Wilson's deposition said: "His injuries affected him very badly. He said people were looking at him, laughing.

"He couldn't cope with it any longer and the drug-taking got worse. He tried to get off drugs. About two years ago he became a father, but the wee boy was taken into care. He tried to kick the drugs once his son was born. He wanted to be a good father and he saw him about once a month."

The inquest heard that on the evening of August 13 last year, Mr Wilson was with his girlfriend, Sinead Kane, at his flat on the Tobermore Road when he said he was going to the toilet.

A short time later, she heard a thud and found him slumped over. His niece, Terri Simpson, who lived nearby, arrived shortly afterwards and tried to revive him. Paramedics also worked on Mr Wilson for an hour before he was declared dead.

Ms Simpson, a trained first aider, said: "He was breathing, but it was getting slower. I was calling his name. He appeared to be gasping for breath - it sounded like he was choking. I checked for a pulse but there was no sign.

"I did CPR for about 10 to 15 minutes until the arrival of the paramedic. There was only one paramedic and we continued with CPR for 20 to 25 minutes.

"There was blood coming from his ear and a thick substance from his glass eye. He never made any response to the CPR. They worked on him for an hour. He never came round."

Extending her sympathy to the family of Mr Wilson, coroner Suzanne Anderson said he died from an accidental heroin overdose. She said that in the absence of proof, such as a suicide note, she would not record he had meant to take his own life.

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