Jed Leach, 21, died after drinking mother's painkiller
A 21-year-old man from Redruth died after drinking his mother’s painkilling morphine in an “absolute tragedy”, an inquest heard.
Jed Leach drank approximately three quarters of a 300ml bottle of Oramorph after drinking several cans of lager.
The inquest in Truro heard he then went to bed and was already dead when his girlfriend Zoe Stamford woke up next to him on the morning of June 22 this year.
The hearing was told Mr Leach was a “generally happy” young man who was planning to get married and had just qualified as a monumental mason.
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Giving evidence, mother Yvonne Thew said she was prescribed morphine to provide pain relief for a recurrent dislocated shoulder.
Describing the moment immediately after discovering her son was dead, Mrs Thew said: “Something just clicked. I looked in the bottle and there was a lot missing. I rushed back upstairs and gave it to the paramedics.”
The inquest heard the medication was kept in a kitchen cupboard.
Detective Constable Julian Lewis from Camborne CID said there was no indication of any intention on the part of Mr Leach to take his own life.
The coroner returned a verdict of accidental death.
Andrew Cox, deputy coroner for Cornwall, said: “All the evidence I have heard was Jed was not a habitual drug taker so would not have the tolerance a drug taker would have which renders him at risk of an accidental overdose.
“He had been drinking to social levels. That will have worked in concert with the morphine to depress the respiratory drive.”
Mr Cox said Mrs Thew had accounted for the “perfectly legitimate presence of Oramorph on the premises.”
“I think what has happened is when everybody has gone to bed Jed has tried the medication to see what effect it would have on him,” said Mr Cox.
“As a naive user he has no idea of the levels. By taking three quarters of the bottle he has taken an amount that is potentially fatal and has died in his sleep. I find this an absolute tragedy.
“This is not a case of a hardened drug user taking drugs one too many times. This is a pure and simple accident.”
Mr Cox offered his condolences to Mr Thew-Leach’s family and said he was desperately sorry to meet them under such circumstances.