Corby ‘light large’ died after unintentional overdose

Meetings house. File image.

Police found a Corby man dead in his room after accidentally overdosing on cocaine and sedatives, a coroner heard.

An investigation at Sessions House in Northampton found that Darren Stephenson, known as Darn, had suffered a number of tragedies in his life which he had overcome. His mother told the court that she believed her son, who was only 32 years old, had “everything to live for”.

The court heard Darren’s family moved to Corby after a member of the family died in dire circumstances when he was younger.

Log In to our daily newsletter

The i-newsletter cut through the noise

In 2011 he was involved in a serious car accident that spent a little over a month in intensive care and had to be resuscitated several times. It left him with ongoing health problems.

Medical evidence from his GP documented how he was stabbed in the back and hit in the head in 2013, leaving him with serious injuries.

Darren was living in a shared apartment in Eastbrook, Corby last April when he met local Gemma Vickery.

In a statement to police, Ms. Vickery said she first met Darren a few days before he died on April 25 and the couple smoked a joint together in his room.

She said Darren was upset because he said he “sees a long prison sentence” for a recent offense. She fell asleep in the room and woke up around 6 p.m. on April 24, before falling back to sleep the next day.

She said Darren took some pills that she thought were street valium.

His family was prevented from asking questions to Ms. Vickery because the court was unable to contact her to appear as a witness at yesterday’s (Thursday, June 17) investigation.

One of Darren’s neighbors told the court he was worried about his friend after noticing he hadn’t seen him or heard him move in a while. He said this was atypical so he called the landlord to do a social check but said he was greeted with a dismissive tone.

When a policeman arrived at the property, he found that Darren had been dead for some time.

An autopsy found evidence of cocaine, benzodiazepines, and flubromazolam – a substance commonly found in street valium that can be stronger than prescribed valium and can make overdosing easier.

Darren’s mother May Rattigan said her son struggled after his car accident but was not a drug addict.

“He survived with great difficulty as he was resuscitated several times,” she said.

“He started getting into recreational drugs and drinking and went to jail.

“He was released from prison in 2018 and was doing amazingly well. We were all so proud of him.”

But Darren’s seizures caused by his brain injury got worse and he was referred to a neurologist. He was waiting for the appointment postponed by Covid when he died.

She said she saw her son before he died when he came to her home for a coffee. There was a woman with him who his mother did not know.

She added, “He had everything he could live for until this girl, a total stranger, came along.

“He was a big gentle giant with a heart of gold.

“We love and miss Darren very much.”

Coroner Anne Pember said she did not believe Darren intended to end his life and returned an accidental death verdict.

Comments are closed.