Blackpool man Ronald Robinson's drugs death captured on police bodycam

The moment a Blackpool man suffocated on a plastic bag filled with class A drugs while being arrested was caught on police bodycam.

By Wes Holmes
Monday, 20th June 2022, 3:57 pm
Updated Monday, 20th June 2022, 4:28 pm

Ronald Robinson, 56, of Queens Promenade, was pulled over by police at around 5.30pm on March 11 2021, after officers received an alert that the hire car he was driving was past its return-by date.

After getting out of the car, the dad of five was suspected to be hiding something in his pocket - which he then tried to swallow.

But the 7cm by 4cm plastic bag, which contained eight packages of heroin, five packages of crack cocakne, and five packages of an unidentified brown substance, became stuck in the dad-of-five's throat, causing him to collapse.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

Ronald Robinson, of Blackpool, died after swallowing a package of drugs

At his inquest at Blackpool town hall today, pathologist Dr Alison Armor said: "It's clear that Ronald's dramatic, sudden and catastrophic collapse was due to a foreign object lodged in the back of his throat."

She added: "It's clear that Ronald himself put the package into his mouth and attempted to swallow it while being arrested by police, however this package became stuck in his throat and resulted in his unfortunate death."

Police dashcam footage of the incident showed officers following Mr Robinson's vehicle down Gosforth Road before stopping on Knowle Avenue, North Shore.

Mr Robinson exited his vehicle with his left hand in his pocket, and as police approached him, a scuffle broke out which lead to him being detained on the ground.

Ronald had a history of drug problems, his family told the inquest

The court was then shown bodycam footage taken from one of the arresting officers, which showed Mr Robinson sitting on the ground with his hands cuffed behind his back, bleeding from a cut on his head.

Read More

Read More
Woman, 77, in court over allegedly threatening a police officer with claw hammer

The officer could be heard asking him what was wrong, and telling him 'spit it out'.

However, Mr Robinson did not respond, and the officer laid him down on his side and removed his handcuffs.

The officers then used a first aid kit to take Mr Robinson's pulse, attached him to a defibrillator and carried out CPR.

At 5.53pm, ambulance services arrived at the scene, and one of the officers informed a paramedic that he believed Mr Robinson had swallowed something.

However, the paramedic did not relay this information to his colleague, who was treating Mr Robinson, and the package was not located and removed from the man's throat until 6.02pm.

The ambulance left the scene at 6.21pm and arrived at Blackpool Victoria Hospital at 6.26pm, where further attempts were made to resuscitate Mr Robinson. However, he did not regain consciousness, and was pronounced dead due to acute upper airway obstruction at 6.38pm.

Toxicology tests revealed levels of cocaine and heroin indicative of long-term abuse in his system.

Dr Armor said 'it is not possible to say with any certainty whether the combination of drugs had any effect on Ronald's ability to swallow at the time', but added that they may have affected his gag reflex.

Mr Robinson's sister, Mandy, told the court how her brother had struggled with drugs in the past.

She said: "We came from a hardworking family and our parents did everything they could to make ends meet. The five of us were close growing up, but I was closest to Ronald. He was a great brother and always looked out for us."

The inquest continues.