Former soldier from Burnley died from drug mix

First published in News Lancashire Telegraph: Photograph of the Author by , Hyndburn reporter

THE pregnant girlfriend of a former soldier who died after taking a cocktail of drugs has told of the moment she found him unconscious at their home.

Natasha Todd woke up to find 34-year-old Ricky Walling slumped over and unresponsive on the morning on June 18, Blackburn Coroners’ Court heard yesterday.

He was admitted to Royal Blackburn Hospital but never regained consciousness and died the following day.

Natasha told the court how she had taken painkillers and sleeping tablets from the ex-soldier the day before his collapse.

She said: “We went and got him a new phone and we chilled out. He went and bought tablets. I took them off him and put them in my hand bag so I could get rid of them when he went to sleep. But I fell asleep before him and he took them.”

Ricky’s brother Scott told the inquest Ricky had battled drink and drugs in the past but had made more recent efforts to beat his addictions.

In January, Ricky and Natasha moved into Scott’s home on Todmorden Road, Burnley.

Scott said Ricky started taking drugs again in March.

Recording a drugs-related death verdict, coroner Michael Singleton said: “The cause of death was morphine and diazepam toxicity. It would appear on the late evening of June 17, Ricky Walling ingested a quantity of both.

“I have heard nothing to suggest he intended to cause himself any harm.”

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