Former addict dies from taking drugs just two years after warning to others

Jourdan Ridley.
Jourdan Ridley.

A former legal-high addict who spoke out to warn others about the use of dangerous substances has died after taking a cocktail of drugs.

Jourdan Michael William Ridley was just 24 when he died last November, after he collapsed at his Sunderland home.

Sunderland Coroner's Court HM Senior Coroner Derek Winter.

Sunderland Coroner's Court HM Senior Coroner Derek Winter.

A combination of prescription and non-prescription drugs were found in his system, an inquest at Sunderland Coroner’s Court heard.

Jourdan told the Echo in 2014 how his addiction to so-called legal highs ruined his life and sent him to prison.

The then-21-year-old spoke of how he had turned his life around after spending £60 a day on the then-legal drugs and a spell inside after assaulting a former girlfriend.

He said at the time: “Legal highs ruin your body and ruin your head.

The outcome of his consumption of these drugs has been the death of Mr Ridley as an unintended consequence of the ingestions of these drugs

Sunderland Senior Coroner Derek Winter

“I was like a zombie. I would go to sleep standing up.

“I have absolutely turned my life around and I want other people to do the same.”

Tragically, the retail worker died just over two years later, after collapsing at his home in Westheath Avenue, Leechmere, in the early hours of November 3, 2016.

A post-mortem examination by Home Office pathologist Dr Jennifer Bolton found no underlying health conditions.

Coroner's Court at Sunderland Civic Centre.

Coroner's Court at Sunderland Civic Centre.

However a toxicology report stated he had small amounts of epilepsy drug Pregabalin, heroin-replacement Methadone, as well as Morphine in his system.

Sunderland Senior Coroner Derek Winter said the morphine pointed at illicit heroin use, and said that Pregabalin is sometimes used as a recreational drug.

The inquest heard Jourdan, who was born in Worksop, in Nottinghamshire, died at 2.12am after he was resuscitated and brought to Sunderland Royal Hospital.

The official cause of death was one of bronchopneumonia, caused by the ingestion of the three substances.

Mr Winter said the low levels of the drugs, had proved a lethal combination, the side effects of which include a rapid heartbeat, respiratory distress, coma and death.

“The use of multiple drugs, even small amounts, leads to an increased risk of side effects,” Mr Winter added.

“The risks are magnified for someone who is not a habitual user, even at low levels.

“He had no underlying medical conditions, so it appears toxicology led to Mr Ridley’s death.

“The police investigation found no suspicious circumstances or third-party involvement and there is no evidence of any intention to take his own life.

“The outcome of his consumption of these drugs has been the death of Mr Ridley as an unintended consequence of the ingestions of these drugs.”

Mr Winter recorded a conclusion of misadventure.