Sunderland mum denies giving son the drug dose that killed him

Robert Prentice
Robert Prentice
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A MOTHER denied giving her son a deadly dose of methadone at an inquest.

Robert Prentice, from Hendon, Sunderland, was found dead in his mother’s front room on August 20.

Tests showed the 27-year-old had taken a cocktail of substances - including the heroin substitute, which belonged to his mum Sharon Prentice.

Sister Elaine Prentice told a hearing in January that her mother had given Robert the methadone which killed him.

Wiping away tears, Miss Prentice, of Cork Street, said she had last seen her brother on the Friday before he died.

After hearing her evidence, coroner Derek Winter halted proceedings so police could investigate further.

But at a second hearing in Sunderland yesterday Miss Prentice Snr denied the accusations.

She said: “It is bad enough that my son died. I found him dead and now she is accusing me of killing him.”

Detective Sergeant Kevin Dipper, from Northumbria Police, said Robert’s mother had been interviewed under caution on January 16 but there was no direct evidence she had supplied him with the class A drug.

Sharon Prentice told the hearing that she kept the methadone locked away and the key was on a shelf in the living room.

The father-of-two was thought to have fallen asleep on the settee at Donnison Gardens, Hendon, and was checked at 2.30am and again at 5am.

But at 2.30pm, an ambulance was called and Mr Prentice was pronounced dead by paramedics less than an hour later, after failed attempts to revive him.

As well as methadone, tests showed Mr Prentice had amphetamine, cannabis, diazepam and other drugs in his system.

Home Office pathologist Dr Jennifer Bolton said the levels of methadone could have been fatal to someone who was not used to the drug.

Senior Coroner Derek Winter recorded a conclusion of death by misadventure.