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Coroner warns of drugs patch danger after man dies using lethal amount
12:35pm Tuesday 10th September 2013 in News
“THEY are as dangerous as taking more obvious drugs”. That is the stark warning from a Hampshire coroner after a man died hours after placing a lethal amount of drugs patches on his body.
Rikki Hannu Knight, from Enfield, North London, was found unconscious by his partner Angela Gibbs at the Premier Inn in Ower in February this year.
The inquest heard how Mr Knight put eight or nine Fentanyl patches on his body during an evening of drinking with Ms Gibbs on February 1.
Det Sgt Gareth Jones, from the Hampshire Major Crime Team, said Ms Gibbs woke up the following morning to find him unresponsive in bed.
An ambulance was called and Mr Gibbs was taken to Southampton General Hospital but the decision was made to turn off his life support machine two days later.
The court heard how Ms Gibbs admitted taking the patches from a North London GP where she was a receptionist.
A toxology report on Mr Knight found the level of Fentanyl in his body was at the range of “chronic therapeutic use”.
Recording a verdict of accidental death, Southampton and New Forest coroner Keith Wiseman said: “These kind of patches are as dangerous, I suspect, as taking more obvious drugs. I would like to express my condolences to his family.”
In July this year, Ms Gibbs, 46, pleaded guilty at Winchester Crown Court to three counts of stealing medication and one of supplying drugs.
She was given a six-month suspended sentence with 12 months supervision and ordered to do 50 hours unpaid work.
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