Tributes to ‘caring’ son after death by drug overdose in Barking

The family of a man found dead in a hotel room after a drugs binge have paid tribute to a “lovely” and “caring” man.

Ronald Head, 50, had taken heroine and cocaine leading to a fatal cardio and respiratory failure.

His body was discovered at the Barking Hotel on Station Parade on January 8, 2014, when his outreach worker, Ojay Wilson, knocked on his hotel door but got no response.

Ojay told Walthamstow Coroners’ Court how he peered into the room by looking above the door and saw the 50-year-old’s body “lifeless and purple” on the bed.

Speaking to the Post, Ronald’s mum, Joan Head, 74, from Dagenham, said: “He was lovely, caring and he thought the world of me.


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“He had a good heart but he was a vulnerable man.

“He’d come and see me and he’d always joke around with me, in fact, he had done that the day before he died.

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“I wanted closure and now I know. I’m satisfied with what I’ve heard today.”

The full extent of Ronald’s drug-taking and alcohol abuse was revealed at the inquest into his death yesterday.

A coroner recorded that he died of cardio and respiratory failure due to a fatal level of morphine and alcohol in his system.

He had recently been made homeless and was staying in temporary accommodation at the Barking hotel.

The hotel manager said he had seen him stumble in to the hotel the night before he died, “heavily intoxicated” and then left again in the same condition.

His GP, Dr Niranjan, said Ronald had a history of drug and alcohol use and often called the ambulance service saying he had taken an overdose.

However, blood levels were found to be normal showing he had not overdosed.

The coroner, Dr Shirley Radcliffe, said he had a chronic dependance on alcohol combined with drug use and added: “Clearly he’d taken street heroin and cocaine that night.

“He put himself at risk by drinking that much and getting prayed upon by drug sellers.”

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