Former husband of 'violently murdered' woman died from a drugs overdose in Nelson (From Lancashire Telegraph)
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Former husband of 'violently murdered' woman died from a drugs overdose in Nelson
THE FORMER husband of a woman ‘violently murdered’ died from a drugs overdose, an inquest was told.
Damien Smith, 36, was found at home in Derby Street, Nelson, by his half brother John Jenkins on July 23.
Mr Smith’s former wife, Debra Walsh, the mother of his young son, was found beaten to death in February 2011 at her home in Norfolk Street, Nelson.
She was murdered by her boyfriend of four months Carl Damion Albert Field, who was jailed for life in September 2011.
After her death, Mr Smith's half brother moved into his house, Burnley Coroner's Court heard. Brian Shaw, Mr Smith’s stepfather, said: “Mr Jenkins took advantage of his younger brother when his former wife was violently murdered.
“Jenkins couldn’t get a property from any landlord so it was an opportunity for him to move in with his brother.
“Damien was capable of providing a good, safe environment for him and his son, but John brought him back down to his level.”
The inquest heard that Mr Smith had been seeing Inspire, East Lancashire’s integrated substance misuse service, for his drug dependency for the last 12 years.
He was a daily user of cannabis and also took heroin at times, but a statement from Inspire said he also had spells of ‘relative stability’.
Towards the end of 2012 he had spoken to Inspire about reducing his dependency on legally prescribed heroin substitute methadone.
He was reducing the methadone by five millilitres every fortnight, but had a relapse when down to 35mls, so he maintained his usage at 40mls.
He had an appointment with Inspire on July 3, three weeks before his death, when he said he was still taking cannabis but wasn’t using any illicit substances.
The inquest heard that Mr Smith had cannabis and heroin in his system at the time of his death.
Coroner Richard Taylor recorded a verdict of accidental death, saying that he did not think Mr Smith had intended to take an overdose.