Ipswich man Bevan Ash died of heroin and methadone overdose, inquest concludes

Beacon House hosted the inquest

Beacon House hosted the inquest - Credit: Archant

An Ipswich man with a troubled past of more than 200 convictions died of an overdose of heroin and methadone, his inquest has concluded.

Bevan Ash

Bevan Ash - Credit: Archant

The inquest, held at Beacon House in Ipswich yesterday, heard that 46-year-old Bevan Ash died in his room at the Salvation Army in Fore Street on August 6, having injected himself with heroin.

Staff reported that they had not seen him, and after entering his room to check on him found him lying on his back surrounded by drug paraphernalia and a used drug needle, with injection marks in his groin, the inquest heard.

A toxicology examination carried out after his death found a cocktail of drugs in his system, including codeine – a contaminate of street heroin – and a “potentially fatal” amount of methadone – a prescribed opiate often used as a substitute for heroin.

Traces of cocaine and cocaine-related substances were also found in his system.

The postmortem examination concluded that he died from an overdose of heroin and methadone, amid a backdrop of cocaine use and emphysema.

Mr Ash had a string of convictions to his name, including drugs offences, threatening behaviour, begging and ASBO breaches, among others.

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But a statement from his sister Miss Ash heard during the inquest’s evidence that he was a “loving, caring person”.

She added that the death of their mother in November 2015 had a profound impact on him as she was the “one person in his life that he totally loved and trusted”, and said that “people who knew Bevan knew him as a lovable rogue”.

The inquest heard he had been prescribed methadone for his drug dependency, and had been admitted to Ipswich Hospital on one occasion for his drug dependency.

He was regularly seen by drug and alcohol support service Turning Point, but it was recognised he had not kicked his habit at the time of his death.

Assistant coroner Nigel Parsley said: “Bevan Ash was well known as a prolific [drug] user.

“He had been drug-dependent for quite some time but he was not able to agree any detoxification plan.

“I will conclude that he died as a result of a drug related death.”