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Seek help says family after relative dies from overdose
THE family of a father of two who died from a lethal cocktail of drink and drugs have warned others who suffer from depression to seek help.
Colin Gale, pictured, a 32-year-old kitchen porter, was found dead in his bedroom in supported housing in Herschel Crescent, Littlemore, on July 1.
The inquest at Oxfordshire Coroner’s Court yesterday heard that Mr Gale had 258mg of alcohol in his blood – more than three times the drink drive limit of 80mg – 0.047mg of cocaine in his blood and 21.8mg of an anaesthetic drug called Lignocaine.
In a statement read to the court, pathologist Sanjiv Manek said Mr Gale’s cause of death was caused by a lethal combination of drugs and alcohol.
Mr Gale, who was born in Banbury and lived there for a number of years, had been admitted to hospital following an overdose of alcohol and cocaine six months earlier in January.
His brother Simon Gale, who lives in Marston, said: “I just wish he had asked someone for help and support.
“He always had this drink problem when he got depressed.
“He turned to drink when he got divorced and lost his son because of it.
“Fathers who are in that situation should seek help – I wouldn’t want others to go through that situation.”
Mr Gale’s mum Rose Reason, who lives in Daventry in Northamptonshire, said her son got divorced more than 10 years ago and had been prevented from seeing his son Tommy.
She said: “We just miss him.
“We just wish it hadn’t happened that night.
“It is hard, it is sad.
“I think other people need to be aware not to get in that situation Colin got in – turning to drink and drugs.”
Mrs Reason added: “He missed his son more than anything. He always carried a picture of him.”
In a statement read to the inquest, Rita Mathola, who worked as housekeeper at the accommodation Mr Gale lived in, said she heard him return from a night of drinking the night before his death.
She said: “Colin was swaying around and looking very drunk to me.”
Ms Mathola added: “I asked him whether he had been drinking, he said a little bit.”
She checked on him before leaving the house the next morning and assumed he was asleep when she saw him lying on the floor and she knew that Robert Fox, care director of the accommodation, was on his way to see him.
Mr Fox arrived at about 11am, when he found Mr Gale lying face down on the floor by his TV and not breathing, so he called the emergency services.
Oxfordshire Coroner Darren Salter recorded a verdict of drug and alcohol related death.
He said: “In this case the death was unexpected and sudden and Colin was relatively young.”