Worksop man loses battle with drink and drugs

DRINK and drugs claimed the life of a Worksop man who was trying to turn his life around, Nottingham Coroners Court heard on Thursday.

Jason Lee Clarke, 42, was found dead on the floor of friend Christopher Billam’s flat on Cobwell Road, Retford, on Saturday 22nd October last year.

Post-mortem tests revealed he had toxic levels of alcohol and and heroin in his blood, as well as traces of cannabis.

Mr Billam told the court that his friend had been trying to turn his life around.

“I had known him for about 10 years, from when I was 15. We met through drinking but he wasn’t using heroin at the time,” he said.

“He was a clever lad and I liked him a lot. He wasn’t daft at all but it was always the drink that got him.”

The court also heard that Mr Clarke had been staying at his friend Karl Deakin’s house on Lime Tree Avenue in Carlton for around 10 weeks prior to his death.

Mr Deakin said: “He would always like a drink but I had absolutely no idea he was using heroin. He must have been doing it without me knowing.”

“The last I heard from him were a few messages on the Thursday before he died saying ‘Leave me alone’ and ‘I’ll be home soon’.

Nottingham coroner Mairin Casey recorded a verdict of death caused by dependence on alcohol and drugs.

Addressing the court, she said: “For Mr Clarke’s friends and family, this is a desperately tragic situation. Be constructive of the trauma that you have been through so you and your family don’t face the suffering he did.”