A WOMAN woke to find her brother lying dead next to her, after they spent the night celebrating his release from prison.
At an inquest at Worthing Magistrates’ Court it was heard 29-year-old Garry Whibley had been “on top of the world” following his release from Lewes prison on August 23, last year, after serving several weeks for a “domestic offence”.
But a day later, Mr Whibley, from Brighton, was found dead by his sister Danielle in a friend’s flat in Alexandra Road, Worthing, having suffered a drugs overdose.
The inquest heard Mr Whibley had spent most of the evening and early hours of the morning drinking and socialising with friends at an address in Butts Road, Southwick.
But though Danielle and her brother’s friend, Richard Cawkwell, told the inquest Mr Whibley had not been taking drugs there, they said there were moments in the evening where he wandered away from the group.
Mr Cawkwell said his friend had appeared “on top of the world” before becoming more relaxed as the night wore on.
Later, at 5.30am, all three went to the flat of Miss Whibley’s friend, Kwan Clinch, in Alexandra Road, where they watched television and took a valium pill before going to sleep in the same room.
It was heard at noon, Miss Whibley, who was sleeping on the same sofa as Mr Whibley, woke to find her brother snoring, before falling back to sleep.
But when she woke again at 3pm, she noticed Mr Whibley had “gone cold” and immediately called emergency services. They arrived shortly after and confirmed Mr Whibley had died.
Dr Mark Appleton performed a post-mortem examination on Mr Whibley, which found traces of methadone, heroin, cocaine, and benzodiazepine, an ingredient of valium, in his blood.
He concluded the cause of death was fatal respiratory depression caused by severe toxicity, and that the traces of drugs in his blood suggested he was either an inexperienced drug user, or had been through a period of abstinence from drugs.
Detective Sergeant Mark Williams said it was not clear when the drugs had been taken, but he was satisfied Mr Whibley’s death was not a crime.
Deputy coroner Martin Milward returned a verdict of death from non-dependent abuse of drugs.