Murder charges are dropped Heroin caused death of loner

The Peterborough Evening Telegraph - - Front Page - By STEPHEN BRIGGS stephen.briggs@pe­ter­bor­oughto­day.co.uk

A MURDER probe into the death of a city man has been dropped af­ter tests re­vealed he died of an over­dose.

The body of 57-year-old Gra­ham Wood was found at his home in Eyre­scroft, Bret­ton, on March 12 this year. He was found with head in­juries and a murder in­quiry was launched but new tests have shown he was killed by drugs.

Mr Wood had hit the head­lines in 1985 af­ter ad­mit­ting giv­ing his baby daugh­ter heroin.

A THREE-MONTH murder probe into the death of a city man has been dropped af­ter med­i­cal tests re­vealed his death was not sus­pi­cious.

The body of 57-year-old Gra­ham Wood was dis­cov­ered at his home in Eyre­scroft, Bret­ton, by a passer-by at around 10.30am on March 12 this year.

He was found with head in­juries and was de­clared dead at the scene by am­bu­lance staff.

It was not known how long he had lain in the house undis­cov­ered, but po­lice be­lieved it could have been days or even weeks.

De­tec­tives launched a murder in­quiry and con­ducted house to house in­quiries with neigh­bours, who said he was of­ten seen in the area but they knew lit­tle about his back­ground.

How­ever, a post-mortem at Peter­bor­ough District Hos­pi­tal proved in­con­clu­sive as to whether Mr Wood had died of his head in­jury or not.

Of­fi­cers called in Home Of­fice pathol­o­gist Dr Nat Carey to con­duct more de­tailed med­i­cal tests. They showed that Mr Wood – a heroin ad­dict – had ac­tu­ally died of an over­dose of heroin and its le­gal sub­sti­tute methadone.

The re­sults were re­vealed on Mon­day at Cam­bridge Crown Court when murder charges were dropped against Rory Crow­ley (24), of Al­der­mans Drive, Nether­ton, Peter­bor­ough and Christo­pher Friel (25), of Ever­don Way, Raven­sthorpe, Peter­bor­ough.

Both pleaded not guilty to charges of rob­bery at Mr Wood’s home and will stand trial on Septem­ber 27.

De­tec­tive In­spec­tor Martin Brun­ning, se­nior in­ves­ti­gat­ing of­fi­cer for Cam­bridgshire po­lice, con­firmed that the case was no longer be­ing treated as a murder in­quiry and po­lice were not look­ing for any­one in con­nec­tion with Mr Wood’s death.

He added: “The murder charge has been with­drawn.”

A spokesman for the Crown Pros­e­cu­tion Ser­vice added: “Fol­low­ing the con­clu­sion of the pathol­o­gist’s re­port, the case was con­sid­ered care­fully by coun­sel and it has been de­cided there is in­suf­fi­cient ev­i­dence to sup­port an al­le­ga­tion of murder.”

More about Mr Wood’s his­tory has also been re­vealed. He had been in­volved with drugs since the 1980s and was jailed for 15 months in Novem­ber 1985 for giv­ing his 10-weekold baby daugh­ter heroin.

She was ad­mit­ted to hos­pi­tal in Peter­bor­ough twice – once for 11 days – with breath­ing prob­lems and doc­tors found traces of heroin in her blood.

Mr Wood claimed that he had given the girl small amounts of the drug be­cause she was show­ing with­drawal symp­toms, as her mother had taken heroin dur­ing preg­nancy.

He said he had not sought med­i­cal help be­cause he feared the child would be taken away from him and his part­ner.

He pleaded guilty to two counts of ad­min­is­ter­ing heroin with in­tent to en­dan­ger life.

He was ini­tially jailed for seven years for each count at Northamp­ton Crown Court, with the sen­tences to run con­cur­rently.

How­ever, judges at the Ap­peal Court in London, said the Crown court judge had been wrong to re­ject Mr Wood’s ex­pla­na­tion and his seven year jail terms were re­placed with two 15 month jail sen­tences, served con­cur­rently.

SCENE: Po­lice of­fi­cers at the scene in Eyre­scroft, Bret­ton where

Gra­ham Wood’s body was found in March this



TWIST: Gra­ham Wood (above) who

was found dead at his city home. Po­lice launched a

murder in­quiry (top).

DRUG PROB­LEMS: Tests have shown Gra­ham Wood (above) died of an over­dose and was not mur­dered.

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