Mystery death of ‘kind’ young man

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A YOUNG man described as “kind, generous and thoughtful” lay dead for several days before his body was discovered at his Wombwell flat.

Although a mix of medication and a strong, non-prescriptive drug were found in the stomach of 34-year old Nicholas Dyson of Pearsons Field after his death in June last year, there was no evidence to prove that any of these had killed him, an inquest heard.

A post-mortem examination revealed that, along with other tablets, Nicholas had taken phenazepam - a new compound that Dr Juyaly Biswas described as a “highly potent depressant” barred from sale in this country by the Home Office and only attainable via the internet.

Dr Biswas, a consultant pathologist at Barnsley District General Hospital said that decomposition of the young man’s body had not allowed a clear analysis of tests on organs and tissues. But although she could not give a direct cause of death, she concluded that the combination of the drugs found within his body could together have contributed to Nicholas’ death.

From her examination, she assessed that Nicholas would have been dead for “a few days” when he was found. Ethanol that was present in his blood could have been caused by decomposition, she said.

Social worker Sally Cutts told how Nicholas, an “engaging, sensitive man with a great sense of humour” had formerly had an addiction to alcohol, but had shown no sign of a “problem needing intervention” in June last year.

She had spent time with him on June 9 and 10 at his flat, when they had talked about his future goals - to socialise more within the community - and had visited the doctor with no change made to his medication of that time. He had seemed in a good mood, she said, with plans to “chillax” - meet friends and listen to music over the weekend. There was nothing to indicate a need for any concern, she said.

The alarm was raised by a neighbour on June 14, who had not seen Nicholas for several days. When Sally Cutts was alerted to the situation by a South Yorkshire Housing representative, she went to check Nicholas’ flat.

She described how she and a colleague found all the flat windows to be closed with curtains drawn. They opened the door to his flat and immediately became aware that Nicholas was dead, she said. He could be seen lying on his bed through his open bedroom door.

Nicholas had only spoken to her about drug use in his younger days, she told the court, and only ever mentioned buying music, nothing else, over the internet.

While recording an open verdict on Nicholas’ death, assistant deputy coroner for South Yorkshire Julian Fox said that the Wombwell man must have died some time between June 10 and June 14, 2011, at his home at Pearsons Field.

A detailed examination had failed to reveal a certain cause of death although non-prescriptive, powerful drugs were found in the deceased’s stomach, he added.

“There is insufficient evidence to lead safely to any clear conclusion,” said the coroner, as he ended the inquest by extending his sincere condolences to Nicholas’ parents.

The couple, who live at Penistone, said afterwards that their son’s life “had ended too soon.”