OVERDOSE KILLED MAN IN MURDER PROBE
Murder charges are dropped Heroin caused death of loner
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He added: “The murder charge has been withdrawn.”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.