A MAN pawned his ring to buy the heroin which killed him, an inquest heard.
Shaun McKay’s heart stopped and he collapsed in the bedsit where he lived, in Beach Road, South Shields, after taking the drug intravenously.
The 35-year-old was taken to South Tyneside Hospital on January 9, but he died four days later after suffering “irrecoverable brain damage”.
An inquest held at South Tyneside Coroner’s Court, in Hebburn, heard that doctors managed to resuscitate him, but scans revealed that he had suffered brain damage which led to his death.
Coroner Terence Carney said: “His heart had stopped. He was not breathing. His brain had been deprived of oxygen.”
Blood tests revealed a level of morphine in his blood that bordered on lethal.
Mr Carney added: “He died from a hypoxic brain injury due to the effects of heroin. His brain was deprived of oxygen and ultimately led to irrecoverable brain damage.”
Police were informed when Mr Mckay was admitted to hospital, and carried out investigations into the incident.
Det Con Alison Brown, of Northumbria Police’s major crimes unit, told the inquest that Mr McKay had been with three other men at the time of his collapse, including his stepbrother.
Det Con Brown said the men told police Mr McKay had decided to sell a ring to buy drugs, with his stepbrother carrying out the transaction at a pawnbrokers in Fowler Street, South Shields, as he did not have identification with him.
Det Con Brown said: “Two of the men said Mr McKay wanted to sell a ring to purchase drugs with the cash.
“The four men are seen on CCTV travelling from Beach Road to Fowler Street. A member of staff said the ring had been bought by the shop for £70.”
The men then travelled to Chichester Metro Station, with Mr Mckay said to have taken a phone call and left the group for a short period before returning with a quantity of drugs, believed to be heroin.
The men then returned to the Ridge House bedsit complex in Beach Road, where Mr McKay took ill.
The hearing heard Mr McKay’s stepbrother gave him CPR when he became unresponsive and medical assistance was sought.
The inquest heard that the drug supplier was never found and no charges were brought by police following Mr McKay’s death.
Mr McKay’s family agreed that his liver, kidneys and heart be donated following his death.
Mr Carney said: “The family in their grief, readily agreed to the donation of organs which have been successfully transferred and given life out of this tragic death.
“Certainly he didn’t determine to end his own life.”
Mr Carney recorded a verdict of misadventure.