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Man who was sleeping rough in Leeds died despite treatment in intensive care, inquest hears

Alan Campbell
Alan Campbell

A rough sleeper who died in Leeds had a history of drug abuse and his mother dreaded an “inevitable” phonecall telling her of his death, an inquest has heard.

Alan Campbell died on October 11 last year, despite treatment after being admitted to hospital the previous day.

An inquest at Wakefield Coroner’s Court was told the 42-year-old was known to be a drug user, who injected cocaine daily.

Coroner John Hobson summarised a statement from Mr Campbell’s mother Sharon Donnelly as he resumed and concluded the inquest today.

The statement said Mr Campbell, who had difficulty at school and sustaining work, started drinking “when he was quite young”.

He spent several years in different prisons after committing crime.

His mum said a phonecall from Mr Campbell’s father saying her son had passed away was one she had been dreading but thought was “inevitable”.

Mr Hobson’s narrative conclusion said that on October 10, 2017, Mr Campbell, who had a history of intravenous drug abuse, was admitted to the emergency department of St James Hospital.

He was treated for infection and withdrawal from opioids and alcohol.

He was transferred to the intensive care unit where investigations confirmed he had bilateral pneumonia and streptococcus pyogenes.

He was given further treatment and provided with organ support but his condition deteriorated and he died at 8.50am on October 11.

His medical cause of death was given as multiple organ failure, severe sepsis, pneumonia and chronic intravenous substance abuse.

Mr Campbell, who was born in Scotland, died in the same week as another Leeds rough sleeper, known as ‘Geordie’.

A candlelit vigil was held under the Dark Arches near Leeds railway station last October in memory of the two men.

Neville Street was awash with pictures of both men, candles and floral tributes, as well as touching hand-written cards penned by those who knew them.