Verdict into Dinnington woman’s tragic death

A YOUNG Dinnington woman died after drinking alcohol and consuming the heroin substitute methadone, an inquest was told.

By The Newsroom
Saturday, 29th December 2012, 3:00 pm

Sade Russell, 21, died at her home on Addison Square in the early hours of 12th June last year.

Emotions ran high during the inquest, which took place over three separate hearings, in Doncaster and Rotherham in November and December, and concluded last Thursday.

The inquest heard Sade went to a surprise 30th birthday party on the afternoon of 11th June. She was found wandering the streets later that night in nothing but a dressing gown at around 10.30pm.

Sade was spotted by a Salvation Army volunteer who knew her and called her mum Michelle, who arrived and took her daughter home and put her to bed.

But at about midnight when her sisters went to check on Sade they found her unconscious. Despite the efforts of family and paramedics, Sade never came round.

Summing up the evidence Deputy Coroner for Rotherham Fred Curtis said the inquest had been ‘very emotive’.

“There has been a lot of strong feeling and sometimes ill feeling during the course of the inquest,” he said.

“This young lady was seen by her family and friends as being a bubbly and likeable character, but did not always show responsibility in her lifestyle and the company she kept.”

The court heard Sade left the party with a man named Dean O’Malley, and together they went to the home of a Paul Barnes Snr.

Mr O’Malley told the inquest Mr Barnes had offered to sell methadone to them. He said when he refused, Sade grabbed the bottle from him and ‘necked it’.

He said the three of them had then bought a bottle of cider and gone back to his home. After drinking the cider Mr Barnes left.

He said he and Sade had sex and then had a bath. He told the inquest Sade had asked him to go out to find some amphetamine and when he got back she was gone.

But Paul Barnes Snr denied offering to sell the methadone. He said he had taken the top off the bottle to drink it himself, when Sade took it and drank it.

Mr Curtis said he was less than satisfied with the evidence he had heard from some of the witnesses, and that the evidence of Paul Barnes Snr had been ‘unconvincing’.

Mr Curtis returned a narrative verdict, saying: “Sade died in her home in the early hours of 12th June after drinking a substantial quantity of alcohol during the afternoon and evening of 11th June and ingesting methadone during the evening of the same day.”

“There is insufficient evidence of the circumstances of how the methadone was ingested but it is more likely than not that the methadone was voluntarily drunk.”

“The danger of consuming methadone by a naive user was known to those present at the time of consumption but no action was taken by them to seek help or advice at any time after consumption.”