‘Cheerful family man’s’ death at party caused by overdose, coroner confirms

An inquest into his death was held at Avon Coroner's Court in Flax Bourton.

An inquest into his death was held at Avon Coroner's Court in Flax Bourton. - Credit: Archant

A Weston family have paid tribute to a ‘loving father’ who had a ‘fantastic sense of humour’ after a coroner ruled his death at a party was drug-related.

Nicholas Hadley, aged 50 and of Greenwood Road, died at a sex party hosted by Robert Jones after taking a fatal overdose of Gamma-Hydroxybutyrate (GHB).

Mr Hadley, a lorry driver, attended the gathering on December 14, and willingly took the class C substance when supplied by Jones, but he became unwell and was pronounced dead at the scene by paramedics at 7.30am the following morning.

His estranged wife Rachael Hadley, in a statement read at the inquest at Avon Coroners Court in Flax Bourton on November 14, said he is sorely missed by his loved ones.

She said: "He was a very hard-working and cheerful family man. He had a wide circle of friends and was a loving father to his teenage son.

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"He had a fantastic sense of humour and was the life of the party, often playing the clown to make others laugh."

GHB, according to drug education campaign Talk To Frank, 'can reduce inhibitions' and enable users to have 'more intense sex'.

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Mr Hadley was found with 1,125 milligrams of GHB per litre in his blood, significantly more than a tolerable dose of the drug.

Dr Basil Perdue, who conducted the post-mortem, said: "In this instance the amount of GHB found was very large.

"He had also consumed an amount of cocaine before his death, but this was unlikely to have significantly affected the outcome."

Dr Peter Harrowing, deputy coroner, concluded: "The medical cause of death given by Dr Perdue was given as GHB intoxication. I accept that as the medical cause.

"He attended a party where he consumed that GHB. He was noted to be in a deep sleep. Paramedics arrived but he was pronounced dead at the scene.

"His death was one of a drug-related death."

Jones, of Bath Road in Longwell Green, pleaded guilty to supplying a class C drug in August and was fined £750 at Bristol Crown Court, where Judge Michael Longman said 'no negligence' was attributed to the party host.

Jones, aged 69, said: "It's been a difficult time for me but nothing compared to his family and I would like to apologise to them. I am trying to rebuild my life."

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