Popular barman died from amphetamine use
AHEAVY amphetamine user was found dead on his settee after not being seen for several days, an inquest heard.
Richard Martin, known locally as ‘Skinner’, was found after police forced entry to his flat on Edgar Street in Accrington.
An inquest at Blackburn Coroners Court heard how the 55-year-old, who was a heavy amphetamine and alcohol user, had not been seen for several days before his body was discovered on July 4 last year.
A post-mortem examination found that he had amphetamines in his system which ‘on the balance of probabilities caused an irregular heartbeat and caused his heart to stop’.
Alwin Stirzaker, who had been a friend of Mr Martin for 15 years, said he was a ‘caring and considerate man who hated being on his own’. The inquest heard that he had been clean from heroin for 11 years but still used amphetamines.
Ms Stirzaker told the inquest: “It was a bit hit and miss with him. Sometimes he had a heavy burst and sometimes he would lay off. He would go out and socialise with people in the local pub and watch football. If he wasn’t out drinking at a bar he would have a couple of cans of cider.”
The inquest was told that Mr Martin was assaulted on his birthday in February last year and was taken to hospital a few days later with a fractured cheekbone, blurred vision and headaches.
Ms Stirzaker said he was ‘not the same after that’ and ‘seemed to go downhill’. She told the inquest that he ‘felt intimidated and couldn’t come out of his flat’.
PC Steve Wallwork, who attended Mr Martin’s flat on July 4, said there was ‘no suggestion’ he took the amphetamines against his will and there are ‘no suspicious circumstances’ surrounding his death.
Recording a narrative verdict, Coroner Richard Taylor said it was a ‘very imprecise science’ to try and determine when Mr Martin had passed away.
He concluded that he died ‘from the effects of amphetamine use’.
After Mr Martin’s death friends told the Observer that he was a passionate Manchester City supporter and popular barman who worked for many years at the Duke of Wellington pub in Accrington.
Richard ‘Skinner’ Martin was a passionate Manchester City fan