INQUEST: Sheffield woman found dead after taking mixture of cocaine and heroin to relieve pain

A Sheffield woman was found dead by her husband in bed after taking a mixture of heroin and cocaine, an inquest heard.

Monday, 20th March 2017, 7:06 pm
Updated Friday, 24th March 2017, 11:25 am
Michelle Wright

Michelle Wright, aged 48, was found by husband Bevan Hoy after he woke up. He was originally arrested on suspicion of murder after paramedics were 'not satisfied' with her cause of death. He was later released without charge.

The inquest heard on June 17, 2016, Ms Wright took heroin, cocaine and a tablet of benzodiazepine to help with chronic pain. She later passed out on the sofa and her husband attempted to carry her up the stairs to bed in a 'fireman's lift'.

But Mr Hoy told the court he dropped Ms Wright on the 'second step' which caused injuries to her face which in turn prompted officers to attend her address on Nether Shire Lane, Shiregreen. Ms Wright was later helped to bed with the assistance of Mr Hoy's friend.

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Police carry out enquiries on Nether Shire Lane

The inquest heard Ms Wright suffered from chronic pain and was prescribed morphine and tramadol. Mr Hoy said the 48-year-old only took a mixture of heroin and cocaine 'once every six weeks' when her pain was at her worst.

Mr Hoy said: "She was my wife and best friend. She was my soulmate.

"She only took the heroin and cocaine when her pain was at her worst. It was one of the few times when she was completely out of pain."

The court heard Mr Hoy stayed with Ms Wright but at some point during the night, he cleared her airways of vomit and placed her back in the recovery position.

Police carry out enquiries on Nether Shire Lane

But Ms Wright was unresponsive the next day.

"I woke up and she wasn't there, she was gone," Mr Hoy said.

Michelle's father who was present in court asked Mr Hoy why an ambulance wasn't called with her being in the recovery position and that her airways had to be cleared.

Mr Hoy said: "In hindsight, I should've called one sooner but she was breathing and I didn't think it was necessary.

Addressing Ms Wright's family, a teary Mr Hoy added: "I'm so sorry. I know my words won't mean much but I'd like to offer my condolences to the family.

"The world is a darker place, she was wonderful woman."

A pathology and toxicology report said Ms Wright died of pneumonia due to 'multiple drug toxicity' which included heroin, cocaine, benzodiazpines and pescription drugs. The 48-year-old also suffered from heart disease which could have been a contributing factor, the report said.

Statement from “Michelle’s husband’s family said: "Our entire family has been devastated by the tragic loss of Michelle. She was full of laughter and perception and brought joy to all of those around her.

"Michelle was a much-loved daughter and daughter-in-law, and the love of her husband’s life. We are shocked that a light that burned as bright as hers was extinguished so suddenly and in such tragic circumstances. Her husband has lost his soulmate and remains overwhelmed with grief.

Recording a conclusion of 'drug related death' Sheffield assistant coroner Abigail Combes said: "On June 17, 2016, Michelle Wright obtained, with others, a number of recreational drugs including heroin and cocaine.

"She took these drugs and became unwell as a result. She was taken up to the bedroom by by her husband and in course of moving her she accidentally sustained injuries.

"At some point late on June 17, her husband became concerned and cleared her airway and was put in the recovery position. When her husband awoke on June 18 she was unresponsive and an ambulance was called. She was pronounced dead at 7.35pm the same day."