Preston father who was found dead outside Tokyo Jo's said turning to drugs was his "biggest regret"
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Preston North End fan Iain Cross was discovered early one morning by a motorist parking on land at the rear of the former Tokyo Jo’s nightclub.
Area Coroner Chris Long was told the 42-year-old joiner had a long history of illicit drug-taking and had told his family getting hooked was the biggest mistake of his life.
Mr Long read out a statement from Iain’s family in which they recalled him telling them his “greatest regret” was turning to drugs and alcohol. But they admitted it was still a great shock when they heard he had died.
Iain, who was born in Preston and grew up in the Ashton area of the city, died from “complex drug misuse”, according to a consultant pathologist.
A post mortem revealed he had a cocktail of drugs and alcohol in his body when he died. Substances found in his blood stream included heroin, diazepam, cocaine and pregabalin.
Home Office pathologist Dr Alison Armour said that although an examination of the body found no signs of injury, there was a swelling in his brain which would have occurred as a direct result of drug toxicity.
When he had been found in the car park lying flat on his back and fully clothed and with a hypodermic needle close to his body, police immediately launched an investigation in case he had been assaulted.
DCI Simon Gray told the inquest they examined CCTV cameras in the area around the car park off Syke Street and Main Sprit Weind and also Iain’s mobile phone records, but could find no evidence to suggest there had been any third party or criminal involvement.
Iain was described by his family in the hearing as a football fan who “had worshipped PNE from being a boy and throughout his life.” They also said: “He had an excellent sense of humour – he could make people crease with laughter.
“His greatest loves were his mum and his daughter who he was very close to. His biggest regret in his life was ever starting to take drugs or drink.
“His death came as a great shock (to us). He had seemed to be in a really good place for some time.”
Coroner Mr Long returned a conclusion that Iain’s was a “drug-related death.”
He added: “The police are satisfied there is no evidence of assault or third party involvement in his death.” And he said there was also no evidence to suggest that Iain had taken the drugs to take his own life.
“In essence the evidence is telling me the cause of death is as a result of complex drug misuse. He had a history of illicit drug-taking and it is clear that it is a combination of drugs over time that has caused his death.”