Overdose led to dad’s death

Anne Hind - Blackpool and Fylde Coroner

Anne Hind - Blackpool and Fylde Coroner

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A FATHER-of-one collapsed in a toilet at a Blackpool health centre after overdosing on a lethal cocktail of drink and drugs.

A murder probe was initially launched after a distraught woman discovered Simon Cookson at Whitegate Health Centre, on Whitegate Drive.

Staff at the centre battled desperately to revive the 34-year-old, who had overdosed on booze and morphine, but he was pronounced dead at Blackpool Victoria Hospital.

At an inquest into his death, his mother Rhona Cookson said: “In his teens he started to use soft drugs. I have supported him over many years to kick his habit.

“He was in denial.

“He valued his friendships highly, he had a sense of humour and was very quick-witted.”

Following Mr Cookson’s death on June 21, a 44-year-old Blackpool man was arrested on suspicion of murder. He was quizzed by detectives but later released without charge.

It is thought Mr Cookson, of Kincraig Place, Bispham, had gone to the Whitegate Drive area to pick up some drugs for “dutch courage” before meeting the mother of his teenage son.

He was found in the health centre’s ground floor toilet at around 12.30pm.

Charlotte Wilmott, senior dental officer, said: “I heard someone shout they needed a doctor. I provided mouth to mouth and chest compressions.”

A Home Office post mortem revealed Mr Cookson, who grew up in St Annes and attended Heyhouses Primary School and Lytham St Annes High School, died from poisoning by alcohol and morphine.

Blackpool Coroner Anne Hind (pictured) recorded a verdict of dependency on drugs.

She said: “It’s a scourge on our society at the present time. Rather than something being a passing fancy, there seems to be more and more people dying from illicit drugs. This is a terrible warning for the future. Sadly, despite all the help people at the scene gave him, he was beyond help. They did everything to bring him round and they should be congratulated for that.

“The sad thing about this is he leaves behind a 15-year-old lad.”