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King’s Lynn man Wayne Skipper, 36, injected morphine into system three days before being found collapsed

A diabetic man born in Lynn died a drug-related death after injecting morphine for three days prior to being found collapsed, an inquest heard on Wednesday.

Wayne Skipper, 36, who lived in a caravan on Green Lane Estate in Pudding Norton near Fakenham, was found ill at home on June 17 last year.

However, the inquest heard there was a delay of around two to three hours before emergency services were called.

The inquest took place at Norfolk Coroner's Court
The inquest took place at Norfolk Coroner's Court

Mr Skipper’s friend, who had stayed the night, “panicked a little” when he could not find his phone or find anyone at nearby properties.

When he found his mobile phone around two hours later it was flat and he had to charge it before calling 999.

The court heard the man had tried to give Mr Skipper sugary food products orally, thinking the issue may be related to the diabetes.

Mr Skipper was eventually taken to Lynn’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital by ambulance but suffered a cardiac arrest during the journey.

Drug-related paraphernalia was found at the caravan by emergency services.

Mr Skipper suffered numerous complications following his admittance to hospital and investigations found multiple small bowel and colonic perforations and peritonitis, which is an infection of the inner lining of the abdomen.

He was treated for several days but deteriorated before a decision was made to cease because he was unlikely to survive further surgical intervention. He died on July 8.

The inquest heard how Mr Skipper had a history of drug and alcohol abuse, including taking heroin, crack cocaine and amphetamines. He also suffered with depression and was taking various medication.

Doctors described him as “poorly controlling” his type 1 diabetes and said he “did not engage well with his planned diabetes care”.

However, following Mr Skipper’s death, doctors at his GP surgery in Fakenham reviewed his case and found “better communication between the mental health team and the drug and alcohol team would have been beneficial for him, and also improved communication between primary care and secondary care for his diabetes control”.

In future, the practice is to prominently highlight on any patient’s notes any alcohol or drug use which could have an impact on their physical health.

Mr Skipper’s mother, Jean Frost, described her son in evidence read out at the inquest.

She said: “My son Wayne was a very strong-headed man.

“Wayne had a lot of friends who cared for him and loved him dearly.

“My son liked spending time with his friends and all of the family thought a lot of Wayne.

“He always made time for his family and he would always find the time to come and see my mother.”

She said Wayne enjoyed mechanical work and “liked to get his hands dirty” whether it was working on cards, motorbikes or buildings.

“He also enjoyed being a handyman and for his hobbies, he always found something to do such as taking things apart, such as mobile phones, and he was always fixing broken phones,” she added.

“He was always crafting and making things.

“Wayne was special but in his own way.”

Norfolk coroner Samantha Goward recorded a conclusion that Mr Skipper died a drug-related death.

His medical cause of death was given as multi-organ failure secondary to faecal peritonitis, hypoxia leading to ischaemic bowel, intravenous use of morphine, and type 1 diabetes mellitus.

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