A Weston-super-Mare man died after taking spice in a town centre car park

PUBLISHED: 12:00 15 August 2018 | UPDATED: 12:21 15 August 2018

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.


A 48-year-old Weston man died after taking a cocktail of alcohol, spice and cocaine, an inquest was told.

John Crick, of Meadow Villas, had been smoking spice on the fifth floor of the NCP car park in High Street on February 8 when he had a cardiac arrest.

Police officers who were in the car park responding to reports of drug taking, witnessed Mr Crick’s collapse and carried out CPR while they waited for an ambulance.

An empty, sealable bag was found by Mr Crick’s head and he also had old and new track marks on his arms.

Mr Crick was taken to the Bristol Royal Infirmary, but he died six days later on February 14.

More: Police warning after man dies in Weston and another in ‘critical condition’.

An inquest into his death at Avon Coroner’s Court in Flax Bourton was told Mr Crick, who was divorced and unemployed, had a long history of drug abuse.

In a report provided for the inquest, his GP Dr James Miller said Mr Crick began smoking cannabis at the age of nine or 10, before moving on to stronger drugs including crack, cocaine and he was smoking heroin by the age of 14.

Dr Miller said Mr Crick had served eight prison sentences for burglary and theft related to drug use.

Dr Karen Denton carried out a postmortem on Mr Crick which revealed he was suffering from bronchial pneumonia at the time of his death.

A toxicology report also showed ‘spice had been taken with a recreational dose of cocaine and alcohol’.

In her report, she stated: “Pneumonia can be the cause of a cardiac arrest but this is unusual and generally the person will look and feel extremely ill prior to arresting due to the cause.

“The toxicology report showed consumption of cocaine, which can be associated with cardiac arrest. Also noted in toxicology report are reports of cardiac affects due to spice.”

Dr Denton listed the cause of his death as bronchial pneumonia but said the consumption of cocaine and synthetic cannabinoids also contributed to his death.

Assistant coroner Robert Sowersby concluded at the hearing on August 9 Mr Crick suffered a drug-related death.

He said: “It still seems overwhelmingly likely Mr Crick would have been aware of how ill he was through pneumonia if not for the drugs he was taking.

“We can’t say whether the cardiac arrest was triggered by pneumonia or drugs, but in any event, without the drugs it seems unlikely he would have died as he did.”

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