Inquest told son died after cocktail of drugs

Connor Aston pictured on Facebook
Connor Aston pictured on Facebook
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A TEENAGER died and his friend was found collapsed after they took a cocktail of prescription drugs including painkillers and a heroin substitute – none of which had been prescribed for them.

It is not known how 15-year-old Connor Aston and his friend got hold of the drugs which caused the Huddersfield student’s death but an inquest heard yesterday that police investigations had suggested the pair had stepped up experimenting with drugs.

A text message found on the mobile phone of Connor’s friend, Alex Walker, 18, suggested they had taken so many drugs they should now be dead.

Another sent at 8pm on the day before he was found said: “Me and Connor have taken lots of trippy pharmaceuticals.”

“Me and Connor have done 35 pills since last night,” another sent later said.

Mr Walker was discovered at Connor’s home in Skelmanthorpe, Huddersfield, collapsed and gurgling by Connor’s mother Michelle Aston.

Her son was discovered slumped nearby and in a written statement she said she immediately thought he was dead but with the help of Mr Walker’s mother tried to revive the pair.

Connor was pronounced dead at hospital, following the incident in June this year while his friend, who was seriously ill, spent two weeks in hospital, including spending a week in intensive care.

Mr Walker has since recovered but has no memory of what had happened prior to Connor’s death. He could not recall sending the texts that police found on his phone.

In police interviews Mr Walker was asked if he had ever taken prescription drugs – something he denied.

A cannabis grinder was found in Connor’s bedroom which is thought to have been used to grind up the prescription drugs.

Mr Walker told the hearing that he had stayed away from drugs since the tragedy.

The hearing was told that Connor died as a result of taking a drugs cocktail, including buprenorphine, a heroin substitute for those trying to kick drugs, and coroner Roger Whittaker recorded a verdict that Connor died as a result of non-dependent abuse of drugs.

Mr Whittaker said it was not known who the drugs belonged to and he said it was possible to get them illicitly but he urged those who had been prescribed medicines to ensure they were kept out of reach of those that shouldn’t have access to them.

A police investigation was launched following Connor’s death and Det Sgt Nigel Gittins told the hearing a number of drugs packets had been found. They included prescribed anti-depressants and pain killers but it was not known who they belonged to.

Mr Gittins said police had spoken to a number of people as part of their inquiries and the information that they got back was that the boys had been taking different types of drugs over a period of time and he said they: “...were experimenting with the drugs and seemed to be getting more adventurous with the drugs and the taking of the drugs.”

In a statement read in court from Connor’s mother she said: “Connor was a happy, popular boy” and said her son and Mr Walker had been friends for many years and it was a friendship that she had encouraged.

Mr Whittaker concluded yesterday’s hearing by saying: “I trust that lessons will be learned as a result of what has happened during that tragic night.”

joanne.ginley@ypn.co.uk