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Drug death dad-of-two downed 47 fake Diazepam pills

A man died after consuming a cocktail of drugs including up to 47 fake tablets, a Belfast inquest has heard.

Darren Patrick McDonnell was found dead in a pool of his own vomit by his best friend in a bedsit they shared in Easton Crescent last September.

The inquest was told that Mr McDonnell had taken handfuls of fake Diazepam tablets, known as 'blues', among other drugs on the night he died.

An autopsy revealed a strong presence of Tramadol, Propranolol and the sedative Phenazepam, which is illegal in the UK and five times stronger than Valium, in his system.

The father-of-two was said to have taken up to 47 of the fake Diazepam tablets while he drank a cup of tea.

His best friend Joseph Neeson did not attend the inquiry after police were unable to locate him.

In his evidence, Mr Neeson had claimed he put his friend to bed because he was falling over and struggling to use his mobile phone after consuming the pills.

The following morning Mr McDonnell was found to have vomited over himself and in an unresponsive state. "After I cleared his nostrils I repeatedly shook him and cried out for help. Our other housemate came in and I shouted at him to phone for an ambulance," Mr Neesson added.

Coroner James Kitson, who offered his condolences to the McDonnell family over the tragedy, recorded the death as self-ingested mixed drug toxicity.

Belfast Telegraph