Tragic death of Northampton teenager was caused by drug overdose, inquest told


The death of a Northampton teenager the evening after a party was the accidental result of drug use, an inquest heard.

Elliot James Edwards, of Abbey Road, Far Cotton, was 17 years old and a soon-to-be father when he died in his sleep at a flat in St John’s Court in the town centre on July 22, 2012.

An inquest into his death was held today and heard the teenager had taken about 30 tablets of morphine, as well as an amount of methadone and alcohol in the hours before he died.

Keiron Morris, a friend of Mr Edwards who had been with him at the time of his death, said Mr Edwards had swallowed handfuls of the morphine pills throughout the evening before going out in the early hours.

When the group of five friends returned to the flat, Elliot was sick but, assuming it to be a usual result of alcohol, they went to sleep.

Hours later, Mr Morris said his friend was breathing heavily and moving occasionally, so the group left him to sleep it off.

When they checked him again at about 6pm, his breathing had become much shallower and they called the emergency services.

Paramedics arrived but failed to revive him.

Mr Morris told the inquest: “I feel shocked and raw about what happened. Elliot had asked me to be godfather to the baby he was expecting with his girlfriend.”

A pathologist’s report stated that Mr Edwards died as a result of respiratory depression due to morphine overdose and alcohol intoxication.

County Coroner Anne Pember, recording a verdict of accidental drug related death, said Mr Edwards was a teenager who “should have had his whole life ahead of him”.