Drug-dispensing technician overdosed on methadone

A DISPENSING technician at a Sheffield chemist overdosed on methadone, an inquest heard.

Martin John Wesley, from Haden Street, Hillsborough, was found dead in bed by his partner the morning after work at Wicker Chemist, near the city centre.

Days later the 26-year-old's mother, Carolynn Wesley, found two empty bottles of methadone in his bedroom.

However, a Sheffield inquest yesterday revealed Mr Wesley had not got the controlled substance, which is used to treat heroin addiction, from the chemist where he worked.

Police were unable to trace where Mr Wesley, who suffered bouts of depression and was on anti-depressants, had obtained the methadone. His body was discovered on January 6 by his girlfriend Tracy Cooke, who Mr Wesley lived with.

In a final telephone conversation to his mother the day before he died, Mr Wesley said he had been having relationship problems with his girlfriend.

But Mrs Wesley, from Worksop, said her son had been "in a good mood" on the phone and had to rush off for fear of being late for work.

She described Mr Wesley as "intelligent" and said he had gained 10 GCSEs and A Levels at school.

Mrs Wesley added her son's depression had become worse after he was mugged at knifepoint in 2003.

She said: "That knocked him for six. Two weeks after that he walked out of work and disappeared. We later found him at his friend's house.

"He was depressed and came home for a few weeks before returning to Sheffield and to work. He would often have low points where he wouldn't want to talk."

Pathologist Dr Alexander Kolar said the amount of drugs found in Mr Wesley's blood was "compatible with a fatal use of methadone".

Assistant Deputy Coroner Catherine Mason recorded a verdict of accidental death.