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‘Life of chaos’ over due to drugs

ONE of Goole’s most prolific criminals died after mixing methadone with diazepam while smoking up to four £10 bags of heroin a week at a hostel in Goole, an inquest heard today (Tuesday, April 5).

Paul Cressey, 42, was due to be evicted from Aldham House, in Goole, for annoying residents when he was found in the foetal position near a radiator by staff concerned his door was open.

Cressey, who had more than 50 criminal convictions, had been staying at the hostel as part of a court drug rehabilitation order. Two weeks before he was found dead he had overdosed outside the hostel and was saved by a paramedic injection. Police who studied CCTV inside the hostel saw him uninjured, but apparently under the influence of drugs the day before he died. He had repeatedly been told not to mix his daily methadone medication with illicit drugs but would binge smoke heroin and alcohol. He had been diagnosed with Hepatitis C in prison in 2013.

In a written statement to the Hull Coroner, Bernice Cressey, his mother said Cressey had attended Alexandra Street, Kingsway and Goole Grammar School after returning from Germany at the age of nine where his father had been in the Army.

She said as a 15-year-old he took his parent’s marriage breakdown badly and left school with few of the qualifications they hoped for. “He never showed any interest in getting a job and never had any plans or ideas about what he would do with his life,” said Mrs Cressey.

“In his 20s his life took a turn for the worse and he fell in with the wrong crowd who took heroin. He would steal from shops. This meant he would come before the courts and from time to time go to prison. Paul was very secretive. His life took a pattern of taking drugs, committing crime and going to prison.”

She said he had two serious girlfriends, but no children and had lost a lot of friends due to his addiction.

He had once worked as a warehouseman, but his chaotic life meant he had a career of burglary and prison. He was jailed for four years for burgling a house in 2011, but his last conviction was in September 2015. He was regarded by police as a “silver offender” – meaning at the time of his death he was criminally active.

Pc Martina Akrill, who attended at Aldham House at 9.30am on December 1, 2015, said she had been told Cressey was due for eviction so investigated to see if there was any signs of a suspicious death but found none. She said: “At first there was no obvious signs of trauma or needles sticking out of his body.” She said Cressey was laid on his side in a foetal position and was cold to touch. She said the only sign of food in the fridge was a mixture of baby food and spaghetti in a single bowl. She recovered an empty 50ml bottle of methadone and four boxes of needles – some with used needles inside. She studied CCTV of him staggering outside his room the day before, but with no signs of injury.

Pathologist Dr Alastair MacDonald said he had found 522ng of methadone and 1150ng of diazepam related drugs in Cressey’s blood – which could have combined as a cocktail to stop his breathing.

Hull and East Riding Coroner Rosemary Baxter said it was sad case as Mr Cressey had repeatedly been warned about mixing illicit medication with his methadone as late at November 30. She said he had admitted to daily smoking of heroin and sporadic binging on diazepam and alcohol. She recorded a conclusion his death was drug related.

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