Depressed man died due to 'scourge of drug addiction'

A known drug user who struggled with depression lost his life to 'the scourge of addiction'.

Friday, 16th November 2018, 9:34 am
Updated Friday, 16th November 2018, 10:39 am
Blackpool Town Hall
Blackpool Town Hall

Jonathan Gravner, 41, was found dead in his Bishopsgate home in the early hours of June 29 with drugs paraphernalia and a syringe at his side.

At his inquest at Blackpool Town Hall yesterday, coroner Derek Baker revealed how Mr Gravner had binged on alcohol and class A drugs in the hours before his death.

A toxicology analysis revealed high levels of alcohol, heroin and cocaine in his body. A postmortem revealed he was suffering from heart disease and liver disease as a result of alcohol abuse.

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He was also known to suffer from depression, and used crutches due to a hip problem.

The inquest heard how, the day before his death, Mr Gravner had gone out drinking and was due to meet his partner and friends at 5.30pm, however he did not arrive until 7.30pm, and was 'drunk and abusive'.

He later went out to buy more alcohol, and returned to his house, where his partner purchased food for him at around 11pm, but he did not want it.

The couple had a brief argument and Mr Gravner went to bed, where he was found unresponsive by his partner shortly before 3am.

She tried to revive him with a wet towel before calling an ambulance. She thought he had taken too much heroin.

Paramedics attended and found Mr Gravner in his bedroom with no heart activity.

The court heard how information given to emergency services by Mr Gravner's partner at the time was 'confusing', as she was also believed to be under the influence of alcohol.

A statement provided by detective inspector Fiona Jackson, who attended the scene and led the police investigation into Mr Gravner's death, read: "(Mr Gravner's partner) was also alleged to be under the influence of drink and drugs. She informed the officers that Mr Gravner had been out in the day, had been drinking and had taken some tablets.

"Mr Gravner was a known drug user and needles were used to inject drugs."

She added: "There is insufficient evidence to show any third party involvement in Mr Gravner's death. He was a known drug user and generally in poor health."

Passing down a conclusion of a drugs related death, coroner Baker said: "There were high levels of alcohol, but particularly high levels of heroin and cocaine... They could have been higher around the time of death. They could pose a significant threat to life."

He accepted that the cause of death was 'alcohol, heroin and cocaine set against a background of heart disease and alcoholic hepatitis'.

He added: "There's no evidence that Mr Gravner intended to take his own life, but he did intend to take the drug and alcohol combination that led to his death, and so another life is lost due to the scourge of drug addiction."

Mr Gravner's partner and family did not attend the inquest.