A recovering heroin addict died in the toilets of Burnley’s McDonald’s restaurant on New Year’s Eve after he had gone in there to take drugs with a friend.
Lee Allison (33) had taken the “largest amount of heroin” pathologist Dr Richard Prescott had seen in his career – after a post-mortem revealed 20 times the usual fatal dose in his system.
An inquest at Burnley Coroner’s Court heard how Mr Allison had been seen on CCTV entering the McDonald’s eatery in St James’s Street with friend Adrian Harrington at 5-10pm on New Year’s Eve.
Footage showed Mr Harrington leaving the toilets at just after 6pm. Shortly after, a cleaner found Mr Allison slumped behind a door.
Mr Harrington was interviewed by police but no evidence was found that he had supplied the drugs.
Mr Allison, who was born in Germany to an Army family, moved to Padiham in 1991. He had never married and was living in Arran Street at the time of his death.
East Lancashire Assistant Coroner Mr Mark Williams heard that a used syringe, an empty bottle of Oranjeboom lager and a yellow shoelace were found next to Mr Allison’s body.
Dr Prescott said: “The main findings were found in the toxicological analysis which showed 1,025 microgrammes per millilitre of morphine in the system. This is very high indeed, the highest I have ever seen.
“Anything over 50 microgrammes is potentially fatal, and even people with a tolerance cannot usually survive more than 500 microgrammes. The presence of alcohol would also have contributed to death.”
Mr David Lucas, from drug addiction group Inspire, told the inquest that Mr Allison had been treated at an Inspire detox unit from October 2014 to November 2015.
Coroner Mr Williams recorded a conclusion of drugs related death.