A heroin addict used a live cable from a fridge as a makeshift defibrillator in an attempt to revive his collapsed friend.
An inquest heard Briece Ogilvie, 47, used the cable to shock Kevin Green, who had collapsed in his flat at the Elizabeth Court tower block, in Layton, after being asked if there was a defibrillator in the building.
Mr Green, 43, who at the time of his death had recently moved into a house in Bispham with Mr Ogilvie’s ex-girlfriend, later died as a result of an combination of heroin, alcohol and bronchial pneumonia.
Blackpool and Fylde senior coroner Alan Wilson ruled out the use of the cables being a contributory factor in Mr Green’s death, but his family, as well as witnesses at the inquest, have questioned Mr Ogilvie’s actions.
Speaking after the inquest, held at Blackpool Town Hall, his daughter Lindsey told the Gazette: “Why you’d do that is beyond me.”
The inquest was told Mr Green, who had previously been a resident at Elizabeth Court and was not known to be a regular user of heroin, had received a £2,000 relocation grant from his housing association on the day of his collapse – and had spent heavily on betting and alcohol before he was found at Mr Ogilvie’s flat at around 11pm on March 5 this year.
A statement was read out to the court on behalf of PC Claire Van Deurs Goss, who attended the scene after the shock had been administered.
She said: “He told me he had plugged it in and touched it to the left hand side of Kevin’s chest. What seemed to come across to me was that he genuinely thought that he’d saved his life.”
Mr Green died in Blackpool Victoria Hospital on March 8.
Following the incident Mr Ogilvie had been arrested on suspicion of assault, but the charges were later dropped after Home Office pathologist Dr Alison Armour had ruled out the application of the wires had contributed to Mr Green’s death. A statement read out on her behalf said: “(Mr Ogilvie) applied bare wires to the man’s chest three times. Some of this hair was possibly singed with possible burns to the chest. Under the circumstances it was a combination of heroin, alcohol and bronchial pneumonia which were the immediate cause of this man’s death.”
Mr Wilson recorded a narrative verdict – citing bronchial pneumonia, alcohol and heroin as the cause of Mr Green’s death.
He had ruled out a verdict of suicide after Mr Green’s sister-in-law Diane had given evidence.
She said: “I’ve known Kevin for a long time and that was just the time of his life. He wouldn’t have taken his own life.”
Mr Green moved to the Fylde coast as a child from Manchester, attending Shakespeare Primary School and St George’s School,Marton.
He later worked as manager of Cleveleys Working Men’s Club.
Andrew Redgrave, North West Ambulance Service’s community engagement manager, has issued a warning following the case.
He said: “Under no circumstance should you ever consider using any domestic energy supplies to deliver an electric shock to a victim in cardiac arrest (heart stopped and patient not breathing) as this is extremely dangerous to the victim, the operator, bystanders and emergency services.”