ON­LINE: mac­cles­field-ex­press.co.uk EMAIL: mac­cles­field­ex­press@men­media.co.uk Drug user died after over­dose

Macclesfield Express - - FRONT PAGE - ALEX HIB­BERT

ADRUG user left dev­as­tated after a heroin over­dose killed his part­ner even­tu­ally died the same way, an in­quest heard.

Lee Gosling passed away after over­dos­ing on the drug at his flat, on Sun­ny­bank Close, Mac­cles­field, in Au­gust last year, a coro­ner ruled.

The un­em­ployed fa­ther, who had bat­tled an ad­dic­tion to heroin for almost 20 years, was left ‘be­set by grief’ after his girl­friend, 34-year-old Celia Billinge, died in the same flat just three months be­fore his death, the coro­ner said.

On the day of Ms Billinge’s death Mr Gosling also over­dosed but sur­vived, the coro­ner was told.

His brother, Michael Gosling, told the in­quest that some­times Lee would give up drugs, but al­ways re­turned to tak­ing heroin.

He said: “I knew he had a drug prob­lem but I was not aware of the full ex­tent of it. Some­times it would be day after day, some­times he would not be us­ing at all.

“I knew it was a prob­lem and he knew he had a prob­lem. He also used to drink al­co­hol most days and he was em­bar­rassed about it.

Michael told the hear­ing that his brother had had a part­ner be­fore he started his re­la­tion­ship with Ms Billinge and they had a child to­gether.

He said: “He split with the mother of his daugh­ter and he went down­hill from there. It was a spi­ral I sup­pose.

“He knew we were there for him but he just would not open up at all, he would bot­tle it up.

“When Celia died of an over­dose he took badly.

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“He could not face be­ing in the flat be­cause she died in it. He used to say he did not live he just ex­isted.”

Mr Gosling’s body was found after neigh­bours be­came con­cerned when they had not seen him for a few days, the in­quest heard.

In a writ­ten state­ment one of Mr Gosling’s neigh­bours and friends said that he had forced the door open with his shoul­der. After en­ter­ing his flat he had found Mr Gosling in a po­si­tion he de­scribed as ‘gone over’, which he said in­di­cated he had taken heroin.

He said: “Once Lee had taken heroin in front of me and col­lapsed in what I would de­scribe as a ‘gone over’ po­si­tion.

“After en­ter­ing the flat when he was dis­cov­ered I found him in the bed­room. He was in the ‘gone over’ po­si­tion.

“On the bed­side ta­ble was drug ‘works’ - med­i­cal wipes and bags of caus­tic soda.

“I could tell he had passed away.”

An of­fi­cer from Mac­cles­field told the hear­ing that a full in­ves­ti­ga­tion was launched by po­lice after Mr Gosling’s death but it was found to be non­sus­pi­cious.

And a home of­fice pathol­o­gist’s re­port read out at the hear­ing de­ter­mined that Mr Gosling had died of acute opi­ate toxicity from tak­ing a fa­tal dose of heroin.

Con­clud­ing, as­sis­tant coro­ner for Cheshire Alan Moores, told the hear­ing that Mr Gosling’s death had been a tragic ac­ci­dent.

He said: “Lee Gosling died at his home ad­dress on or about Au­gust 27.

“The med­i­cal cause of death was acute heroin and al­co­hol toxicity. He died as the re­sult of an ac­ci­dent. I don’t be­lieve he in­tended to take his own life.”

‘He could not face be­ing in the flat be­cause she died in it. He used to say he did not live he just ex­isted.”

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