Dad died after mix of drug and alcohol

IPSWICH: A man whose death prompted a murder investigation died from the effects of alcohol and the drug methadone, an inquest has heard.

Paul Lingham. 36, was pronounced dead on Saturday, March 6, after emergency services were called to a flat, opposite The Dove pub in St Helen’s Street, to reports of a male who was unconscious.

Mr Lingham, a former chauffeur who lived at The Salvation Army in Fore Street, had been staying at the flat temporarily with a friend.

His death initially prompted a murder investigation by Suffolk police.

However, at an inquest at Ip-City in Hawes Street, Ipswich, yesterday, Greater Suffolk coroner Dr Peter Dean concluded that the father-of-two died from the combined effects of alcohol and the drug methadone, which is used as an opiate substitute for heroin in the treatment of heroin addiction.

Speaking after the inquest into her son’s death, Bernadette Lingham, of Stowmarket, said in the last week of his life her son “was not the Paul we all knew.”

“He was a lovely guy,” she said. “He was so caring, always doing everything he could to look after others, he would really go out of his way for other people.

Most Read

“He always did what he could to help.”

His younger sister Shona Lingham, 24, said he was “a very proud big brother,” to her and her sister, a doting father to four-year-old Jasmine and Keira, three, and a fantastic uncle to his nieces and nephews.

She said: “He was a gentle giant and very protective, his two daughters were his life, he really loved those little girls.

“He was just in the wrong place at the wrong time, it was a huge shock to us all, we miss him terribly.”

A post mortem examination was carried out by the Home Office pathologist Dr Nat Carey, who determined the cause of death was alcohol and methadone intoxication.

In his report Dr Carey said there was no evidence of natural disease which had caused or contributed to Mr Lingham’s death.

He also noted that Mr Lingham had a high level of alcohol in his blood, 138 milligrammes per 100 millilitres of blood - the upper legal limit is 80 milligrammes per 100 millilitres.

Dr Carey said due to the fact Mr Lingham had no tolerance to the drug methadone it could have caused his death.

Dr Dean said: “There is no evidence he intended this outcome. He died from the tragic combined effects of methadone and alcohol.

“It really acts as a warning about the dangers of combining methadone and alcohol together.”

n Do you want to pay tribute to Paul Lingham? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstar

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter