Paramedics said Dean Martin was “just drunk” two days before death from pneumonia, inquest hears

Dean Martin

Dean Martin - Credit: Archant

A mother was told by paramedics her 42-year-old son was “just drunk” two days before he died from pneumonia, an inquest has heard.

Father-of-one Dean Martin, of Lindsey Way, Stowmarket “wanted to turn his life around” just weeks before dying in Ipswich Hospital last year, his mother Sally Craft told an inquest at Ip-City Centre yesterday.

Two days before his death from bilateral aspiration pneumonia against a background of Morphine toxicity on May 14 2014, his brothers Jason Martin and Lee Martin visited his home but Dean, who had a history of attempted suicide, alcoholism and mental health problems, did not answer.

The brothers used a spare key to enter the house and found Dean unwell in bed and called for an ambulance.

Mrs Craft told the inquest: “One of the paramedics came downstairs and asked if he had taken an overdose, but couldn’t find any evidence anywhere.”

Dean also denied taking an overdosed when asked.

Ambulance staff told Mrs Craft he was “just drunk”, noting an opened bottle of vodka, the inquest heard.

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Mrs Craft said the paramedics said they had no legal obligation “because he was drunk”, and that the hospital would not want him.

The following day, Dean was found on the sofa, where he had been left the night before and an ambulance was called.

Of the paramedic, Mrs Craft said: “She raised her voice and was very abrupt. I thought she was rude but that might just be me.”

When Mrs Craft said the family thought they would take her son to hospital, the paramedic questioned why they would do that.

Dean’s care co-ordinator, Peter Henson, searched the house and found empty drug packets in a kitchen bin.

When Dean’s blood sugar level was found to be very low, along with the empty tablets, he was taken to hospital.

Doctors told the family if Dean had got to hospital sooner he would have stood a better chance of surviving.

Jason said paramedics said he didn’t want to go to hospital and that there was not a lot they could do.

Lee said: “(Dean) kept saying he wanted to be left alone. One paramedic did ask if he wanted to go to hospital and he said no.”

Ambulance officer Norman Keane, who attended Dean’s house on May 12, said Dean was asked on several occasions if he had taken anything, and said he heard three times Dean being advised he needed to go to hospital if he had.

The paramedic on May 12, Neil Lawrence, said he checked the house for any evidence of an overdose. The kitchen bin wasn’t checked because Mr Lawrence said it was not there.

Mr Lawrence said: “I said to him an overdose of medication could lead to organ failure and could be painful and obviously fatal.”

He added if he had physically moved Dean it would have been assault.

Alison Hopgood, the paramedic on the following day, said she may have spoken to Dean loudly to gain his attention, but she didn’t recall questioning why Dean would be taken to hospital.

Toxicologist Rebecca Andrews said Dean’s morphine levels were above therapeutic.

The inquest continues.

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