Cocktail of drugs at Hartlepool house party killed man, 20

The late Gary Dowson, who was found dead in a house in Gritten Square in the West View area of Hartlepool on Sunday May 26, 2013.
The late Gary Dowson, who was found dead in a house in Gritten Square in the West View area of Hartlepool on Sunday May 26, 2013.

A COCKTAIL of various drugs caused the death of a young man after he had been to a house party with his friends.

The pals of Gary Dowson, 20, found him in a double bed sweating and struggling to make sense hours after he had taken a lethal concoction of drugs.

Town coroner Malcolm Donnelly said a post-mortem investigation discovered substances including MDMA, cocaine, amphetamines and diazepam in his body fluids.

The concentration of MDMA, a type of ecstasy, was 5.8mg per litre of blood, and said to be “associated with fatality”.

Investigating officers said Dowson had been suffering with a drug addiction problem and his life was “spiralling out of control”.

He had been at a house party with five friends on the night of Saturday, May 25, at Gritten Square, on Hartlepool’s Central Estate.

The next morning, just after 9am, his pals heard noises from the bedroom Mr Dowson had gone to sleep in and found him “sweating and rambling with his eyes still closed”.

His concerned friends frantically died 999 and got him off the bed to try and perform CPR but paramedics pronounced him dead at the scene at around 9.20am.

Mr Donnelly said: “It is clear from the police investigation and post-mortem that the deceased was the author of his own misfortune.

“I refer specifically to the results of the forensic post-mortem investigation that was carried out.”

Dr Fiona Perry, who carried out the tests on Mr Dowson’s bodily fluids, added: “The concentration of MDMA was high and within the range associated with death.”

Detective Sergeant Joanne Wright said: “This is a tragic set of circumstances which has led to the death of this young man.

“From the information gathered we can see that his life was spiralling out of control in the wrong direction.”

Mr Dowson was the youngest of eight siblings but had no permanent address. His relatives attended yesterday’s inquest.

Following his death earlier this year, his brother Ryan, 19, said: “We are just in shock, he was a fit and healthy lad.”

One of Mr Dowson’s friends who was at the house with him had rang Ryan and told him Gary was “in a bad way” on the morning of May 26, and 15 minutes later rang again saying: “I think he’s gone”.

Ryan rushed to the scene with his mum and sister but police and paramedics were already there and wouldn’t let them inside.

Delivering a narrative verdict, Mr Donnelly said the cause of death was non-dependant abuse of drugs.