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Father-of-two from Cheadle died of a drug overdose a day before his 39th birthday

By Cheadle Post and Times  |  Posted: April 24, 2014

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FATHER-of-two Brian Scragg, of Cheadle, died from a drug overdose just one day before his 39th birthday, an inquest has heard.

Mr Scragg's body was discovered in a house in Fenton and tests later revealed he had high levels of heroin in his system.

During the inquest into his death at North Staffordshire Coroners Court in Hartshill, Mr Scragg's mum Doreen Bickerton told the court that Mr Scragg had been involved in drugs from the age of 14.

She revealed she had often told her son he wouldn't make it to his 40th birthday.

Mrs Bickerton, of Leek Road, Cheadle, said: "Brian was very easily led and was involved in drugs from the age of 14.

"That led to him being in prison about three times.

"He had a lot of help from the hospital and from police but Brian didn't seem to register that.

"He discharged himself from hospital a number of times.

"People keep taking drugs until they are no longer the person they were.

"He had two beautiful children and that didn't help him.

"Brian used to come home everyday for a bath or shower but he didn't stay at our house because if he stayed we had people calling for him.

"They were more important than us to Brian.

"We couldn't break that barrier at all even though we did everything we could to help him.

"The day before he died, he came home for a bit and I bought him some food before he slept for a few hours.

"I later heard him on the phone and he came down and said bye to his dad before he left."

The hearing heard Mr Scragg, from Cheadle, had met with a friend at a house in Vivian Road, Fenton, on November 19.

He had been taking drugs including heroin before he collapsed and died the following day.

Mrs Bickerton said: "I expected Brian to turn up that day but then the police came.

"I knew that knock on the door would come one day so even though I was shocked, I wasn't surprised.

"I had always told him he wouldn't hit 40."

A post-mortem showed there was a high level of heroin in his blood and that Mr Scragg was likely to have died an hour or two after injecting the drug.

Senior coroner Ian Smith concluded the cause of death as heroin toxicity at the hearing .

He said: "Mrs Bickerton had jokingly told her son he wouldn't reach 40 and he didn't.

"A lot of people who take drugs don't always know what they are taking.

"When you take drugs, you are in the hands of people who mix it up and put it with other substances to bulk it up.

"On the day he died, it seemed like Brian had taken drugs like he had before and he wasn't to enjoy his birthday.

"I am satisfied he died from heroin principally."

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