Man dies of morphine overdose on birthday

PUBLISHED: 13:00 21 June 2014

North Somerset Coroner's Court

North Somerset Coroner's Court


A WESTON man died in his sleep on his birthday after taking a ‘very high quantity’ of morphine, a coroner has heard.

Peter Checkley, otherwise known as Peter Sparks, was in bed with his girlfriend Kirsty Farr at her home in Argyle Avenue when he died.

He was declared dead on November 6 at 8.55am by a paramedic, according to evidence heard at an inquest on Tuesday at Flax Bourton Coroners Court.

The 26-year-old, who lived in Williton Crescent, was unemployed due to sickness and depression.

He was diagnosed with mental and behavioural issues in 2003 due to alcohol abuse, drinking up to seven litres of cider a day, according to his doctor.

The night before he had taken up to six morphine tablets and a morphine patch, although these were not prescribed to him.

He had also taken a small amount of cocaine.

Detective Constable Jim Turnham, who worked on the case, said: “In my opinion he was very well known to have a drug history.

“It was his birthday, so I think he was trying to get as intoxicated as possible.”

The drugs were provided by Nathan Gibson, who told police he found them abandoned while on his way home to water his cannabis plants.

Mr Gibson was later arrested and charged with supplying drugs, but was found not guilty by a jury at Bristol Crown Court.

At the end of the evening, Miss Farr collected Mr Checkley from a friend’s house in Selworthy Road and went back to her house.

Assistant coroner Peter Harrowing said: “He obtained some tablets and patches of very high strength, and even though he was well used to taking morphine and similar drugs, the quantity had a significant effect on him and brought about his demise.

“It was a very high quantity indeed, and sadly he did not realise the strength and potency of the drugs he was taking.”

His death was recorded as accidental, caused by acute morphine toxicity.

Comments have been disabled on this article.

More from Weston Mercury


A couple’s home was raided while they were partying the night away at a police ball. The story featured in the Weston Mercury and Somerset Herald 50 years ago.

Read more

Girls from across the Extend Learning Academies Network in Weston came together for an inter-schools football tournament.

Read more

Work has begun on Weston’s £11million flagship food and drink centre, which is expected to bring 250 jobs to the area.

Read more

Weston stroke survivors could benefit from a ‘life-changing’ new rehabilitation programme.

Read more

Significant improvements to day-time operations at Weston General Hospital’s A&E have been recognised by health inspectors.

Read more

Indie rock band The Zutons will perform in Bristol next spring.

Read more

An action-packed superhero adventure comes to cinema screens next week, and Mercury readers will win tickets to see it.

Read more

The family of a Worle youngster have praised their son’s bravery after he won a Somerset Award.

Read more
Yesterday, 20:00

A sing-along screening of 2017’s smash hit The Greatest Showman will take place at Bristol Hippodrome.

Read more
Yesterday, 18:00

A stunning display of more than 100,000 twinkling lights in a Burnham cul-de-sac has raised more than £1,000 for local charities, in just its opening week.

Read more

Most Read News

Read Online

Read the Weston Worle and Somerset Mercury e-edition E-edition

Local Weather

Heavy Showers

Heavy Showers

max temp: 11°C

min temp: 4°C

Useful Links

Advertise in the paper
Submit a Story
Subscribe to the paper
Send Your Letters
Order Photos
Family notices
Reader Travel

Family Notices 24

Newsletter Sign Up

Weston Mercury twice-weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Hot Jobs

Show Job Lists