Frantic efforts were made to revive a man who died after taking a cocktail of drink and drugs, inquest hears

A COCKTAIL of alcohol and drugs had been consumed by Stuart Chard before his shocked friend found him dead on a settee and tried to revive him.

Darren Ladds called 999 and put his friend into the recovery position, and then used CPR to try to bring Mr Chard round.

“It was a shock to me, he was a good friend,” Mr Ladds told an inquest into the death of 37-year-old Mr Chard, who died on January 21 after inhaling his stomach contents.

“He was stone cold, it was like putting your hand into a fridge. I have done a first aid course, and thought I could help. I frantically tried to help Stuart, I thought I was bringing him back to life. But the paramedics said he had been dead for six hours, and there was nothing I could do.”

Mr Ladds had earlier been drinking a the Little London pub in March with Mr Chard, and after closing time they moved to the home of Mr Chard’s partner, in Wisbech Road, March.


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“Me and Stuart had been drinking and taking valium all day,” said Mr Ladds, “so we were pretty out of it, having a good time.” When Louise Downes arrived at 2am, she took some tablets away from Mr Chard, and threw them in the bin.

“We all started to fall asleep,” said Mr Ladds. “I asked if me and Louise could crash upstairs. I put a blanket over Stuart, and that was the last I saw of him.”

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Ms Downes was the first person to discover Mr Chard’s body, at around midday. She had spoken to him but got no reply.

Consultant pathologist Dr Martin Goddard said a post mortem on Mr Chard’s body revealed lignocaine, cocaine, valium and an alcohol reading just slightly above the drink drive limit.

Coroner William Morris recorded a verdict of accidental death, saying: “He died because of the aspiration of gastric contents, brought about by the consumption of alcohol, cocaine and diazepam use.”

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