Warning after Sunderland taxi driver dies from taking amphetamines for the first time

A drugs warning has been issued by a coroner after she heard how a Sunderland taxi driver died after taking amphetamines for what is believed to have been the first time.

Wednesday, 31st January 2018, 6:29 am
Updated Wednesday, 31st January 2018, 6:35 am
It is believed Barry Bosher had taken amphetamines for the first time when he died.

Barry John Bosher had finished his shift and returned to his home in Akeld Mews, Monkwearmouth, at about 5pm on Sunday, November 19, last year.

Sunderland Coroner’s Court heard the 45-year-old had been seen and spoken to by a member of his family at about 7.30pm and “appeared to be well”.

Sunderland Royal Hospital.

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But senior assistant coroner Karin Welch detailed from evidence provided to the inquest hearing that at about 9.15pm, he collapsed and was taken to Sunderland Royal Hospital.

Ms Welch told the hearing that “despite the best efforts of medical professionals” Mr Bosher died two hours after he fell ill.

In the wake of his death, police attended and found nothing suspicious.

Toxicology reports were ordered as part of inquiries and found amphetamines in his blood, with the drug given as his cause of death.

Sunderland Royal Hospital.

The pathologist had detailed in their report how amphetamine can cause a problem with the heart, with an enlarged heart found in his case.

Ms Welch said: “During the course of the investigations samples were taken for toxicology analysis. That identified and indicated that Barry had in his blood a reading for amphetamines.

“There is absolutely nothing to suggest Barry has had an issue with amphetamines or any other drugs, or taken any, say for simple prescription drugs, he was given prior to this day.

“There seems to be this question we can’t answer about why on that day Barry used the drug for what appears to be the first time.

“There are no words as a short-form conclusion available to me and it seems to be more appropriate in his case to say it is misadventure, where Barry has taken the drug himself.

“There’s no suggestion there has been anybody else involved in that.

“We don’t know why he did it and we will probably never know.”

Ms Welch offered her condolences to Mr Bosher’s father and added: “It’s not natural in the course of life to lose a child before yourself.

“If there is a silver lining, I hope that people will become aware of the dangers of drugs and the effect it can have on a body when you are not used to taking them.”

The hearing was held at the coroner’s court based at Sunderland Civic Centre.