Coroner’s report makes for sad read­ing


‘‘Mau­rice's life his­tory makes for very sad read­ing.’’

He started tak­ing magic mush­rooms at seven, abus­ing in­halants from age 12 and started us­ing syn­thetic cannabis at age 15.

On May 24, 2016, Mau­rice Ju­nior Pa­pariu Murtagh was found lay­ing face down in the rear carpark of Ro­torua’s Sudima Ho­tel - aged just 20.

Just eight days later on June 3, he was dead.

The cause of death ruled as se­vere hy­poxic brain in­jury sec­ondary to a pro­longed car­diac ar­rest caused by drug and aerosol con­sump­tion.

De­tails of his death and life lead­ing up to it were laid bare by Coroner Michael Robb as he re­leased his report into Murtagh’s death.

In his own words ‘‘Mau­rice’s life his­tory makes for very sad read­ing’’.

Murtagh was re­moved from his mother’s care at two and re­port­edly suf­fer­ing from do­mes­tic vi­o­lence and other abuse.

Robb said Murtagh was well known to the po­lice and de­spite be­ing just 20 years old, had been the sub­ject of 24 ar­rests, ‘‘the ma­jor­ity of which re­lated to him be­ing in­tox­i­cated by virtue of con­sump­tion of al­co­hol and/or drugs and aerosols’’.

Murtagh was known to com- mu­nity men­tal health and was await­ing ad­mis­sion for al­co­hol detox­i­fi­ca­tion be­fore ad­mis­sion into a re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion pro­gramme.

‘‘A hos­pi­tal bed had only be­come avail­able for his detox­i­fi­ca­tion on the day af­ter he was found un­con­scious in the Sudima Ho­tel car park.’’

Robb made a num­ber of rec­om­men­da­tions in his fi­nal report, not­ing his fre­quent in­ter­ac­tions with po­lice of­fered an op­por­tu­nity for him to be ‘‘red flagged’’ for as­sis­tance.

‘‘A process of iden­ti­fy­ing and re­fer­ring him to other agen­cies would be of ben­e­fit,’’ Robb said.

‘‘Red flag­ging his con­sis­tent un­con­trolled in­tox­i­ca­tion and bring­ing him to the at­ten­tion of those agen­cies who are able to con­duct a drug and al­co­hol as­sess­ment with him would be of ben­e­fit.’’

He also said the process of re­quir­ing a doc­tor to ap­ply for al­lo­ca­tion of a me­dial detox­i­fi­ca­tion bed pre­sented dif­fi­cul­ties and de­lays.

‘‘The de­lay in hav­ing both med­i­cal detox­i­fi­ca­tion and res­i­den­tial re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion beds avail­able is very trou­bling

‘‘. . . which can ul­ti­mately have a fa­tal con­se­quence.’’

Mau­rice Murtagh was found un­con­scious lay­ing next to two aerosol cans of de­odor­ant. Coroner Michael Robb

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