King’s Lynn man, 40, took heroin ‘1,000 times stronger than normal’ before death, court told

The crest above the entrance to King's Lynn Court in College Lane.
The crest above the entrance to King's Lynn Court in College Lane.

A court has heard how a Lynn man died after taking a synthetic form of heroin which was 1,000 times more potent than the usual substance.

Police issued a warning about a dangerous batch of the drug circulating in the area following the death of Scott Chapman, 40, at his home last summer.

An inquest, held at the town’s magistrates court yesterday, was told a post-mortem examination concluded Mr Chapman had died from combined drug intoxication.

He had been found unresponsive in his flat in Minster Court, Hillington Square, late on the evening of June 17 last year by his partner.

He was subsequently taken to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, where he died a short time later.

The inquest was told that Mr Chapman, who had a long history of drug use, had taken heroin with his partner during the evening, having bought it from a dealer in North Lynn earlier that day.

He then went into a bedroom to take a further dose shortly before he became ill.

A statement from Det Con Carl Ritchie, of Norfolk Police, which was read to the court, said Mr Chapman’s partner had noticed the drug unusually dried white when she smoked it with him earlier in the evening.

He said: “She questioned whether it had been cut with something.”

Two bags of brown powder, which were found in the property, contained caffeine, paracetamol, heroin and fluorofentanyl, a synthetic version of the class A drug.

The court heard fluorofentanyl is around 1,000 times more powerful than normal heroin.

Although it has been linked to a number of deaths in Europe and the United States, little is currently known about it in Britain, though doctors say it does increase the risk of death even in a “tolerant” heroin user.

Norfolk coroner Jacqueline Lake recorded a conclusion that Mr Chapman’s death had been drug-related.

She offered her sympathies to members of his family who attended the hearing.