Coroner warns of dangers of ‘legal high’ drug

A ‘HAPPY’ man accidentally killed himself by taking an overdose of a legal drug he bought over the internet, an inquest has heard.

John Edgar, an aircraft engineer and father, from Greenland Mews, Worthing, died on August 21, aged 45.

Mr Edgar was found by his friends, Stuart Fishlock and Lesley Dennis, in his mother’s bedroom at her bungalow in Greenland Mews just before 8pm.

A couple of partially drunk bottles of champagne and a packet of powdered drug called diphenidine were found in the bungalow.

Assistant coroner Dr Karen Henderson will write a prevention of future death report and write to the Home Office and the Drugs Advisory Agency to warn them of the dangers of this drug.

“There clearly needs to be some action made,” she said.

“If a legal high has been the primary cause of someone’s death, that is a major personal concern to everyone who knew John but also of national importance.”

Diphenidine is a dissociative anaesthetic drug that has been sold online as a research chemical.

There is little known about the drug and there has only been one other recorded case of a person dying from the drug. In that case, the person was found to have 0.11mg of it in 100ml of blood – Mr Edgar had 2.4mg of the drug in 100ml of his blood.

He also had alcohol in his blood, which amounted to more than twice the legal drink drive limit.

His wife, who married him in Las Vegas in 2011, and was in the process of divorcing him at the time of his death, told the inquest she found drugs in his tool box.

She found evidence on his computer that he had bought them via the internet.

On being asked if he took the drugs daily or took them before work, Victoria admitted he did not.

For the full story, see the Herald, out Thursday, November 27.