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Monday, 28 July 2014

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Cumbrian armed robber died three weeks after prison release

A 37-year-old man who was jailed for 10 years for armed robbery died three weeks after coming out of prison.

William Quayle photo
William Quayle

William John Quayle was found dead in the upstairs bedroom of a house on Crummock Avenue on Whitehaven’s Woodhouse estate on March 31 last year.

He had taken a lethal cocktail of Diazepam and a drug called Subutex, used to treat heroin addiction.

Coroner David Roberts recorded a verdict of drug dependence after learning that Mr Quayle had been taking the pills regularly for about a fortnight before he died.

He said: “The death is not a natural one. It seems to me, however, looking at the evidence as a whole, that Mr Quayle clearly had a history of drug dependency. He was on a Subutex programme to deal with an addiction to opiates in the past, and he had clearly been taking a large amount of Diazepam up to a fortnight before he died.

“There was an element of addiction in which he was not able either to stop himself or else did not wish to stop.”

Mr Quayle had been at his sister’s house with friends who had been unable to rouse him.

The inquest heard that his then girlfriend Lisa Nugent, of Carlisle, had been “out of it” herself and there was no reliable way of measuring how many tablets he had taken.

But she said she had brought with her 1,000 Diazepam tablets while Mr Quayle had brought a further 200.

They had both been taking Subutex as well.

Mr Quayle’s friend, John Joseph Steele, tried to administer CPR until an ambulance crew arrived.

Paramedics tried to revive him but he did not regain consciousness and was pronounced dead at the scene.

It was at this point that Mr Quayle’s sister became “hysterical” and asked the ambulance crew to try again, the inquest heard.

According to a read statement from paramedic Rhona Radcliffe, “all of the occupants of the house were under the influence of drugs or drink. “They were constantly asking what we were doing and what was happening but did not appear to be absorbing any of the information.”

Following Mr Quayle’s death, five people were arrested on suspicion of drug-related matters and later bailed. Four were later released without charge and a fifth – a woman from Carlisle – was cautioned for possessing Class C drugs.

Mr Steele said that Mr Quayle had spent 10 years in prison and had only been released three weeks before he was found dead.

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