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Bricklayer died on Norwich street after taking 'fatal mixture' of drugs, inquest hears

PUBLISHED: 16:05 04 September 2019 | UPDATED: 16:05 04 September 2019

James Blevins, known as Jimmy, died at St Benedicts Street on December 30, 2018 where he was found by a resident going to work. Photo: Google

James Blevins, known as Jimmy, died at St Benedicts Street on December 30, 2018 where he was found by a resident going to work. Photo: Google

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A 49-year-old bricklayer who detoxed in prison died on a Norwich street after taking a cocktail of Class A drugs just three days after his release.

James Blevins, known as Jimmy, died at St Benedicts Street on December 30, 2018, where he was found by a resident going to work.

A combination of cocaine, heroin, amphetamines, morphine and prescription drugs, as well as alcohol, was found in his blood.

An inquest into his death, held at Norfolk Coroner's Court on Wednesday, September 4, heard how Mr Blevins, of Johnson Place, Norwich, had a history of drug use, but had hoped to stay clean.

Area coroner Yvonne Blake heard how Mr Blevins' medical cause of death was due to opioid, cocaine and amphetamine toxicity, described as "a fatal mixture".

Ms Blake heard how Mr Blevins had been released from HMP Norwich just after 9.30pm on Thursday, December 27, and spoke to his son, who said he sounded much better, and promised him he wouldn't touch any drugs.

On Saturday, December 29, he saw his mother and a friend, and exchanged texts and calls with his girlfriend, who later told police he used to frequent St Benedict's Street to buy drugs.

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On Sunday, December 30, the ambulance service were alerted by a resident on his way to work who found Mr Blevins crouching in a communal area outside a flat.

The ambulance service attended at 8.01am and Mr Blevins was found dead at 8.02am, paramedic Adam Rogers told the court.

The coroner also heard how some brown powder, a crack pipe and a packet of anti-depressants were found near Mr Blevins' body.

Hannah Gosling, a worker at Phoenix Futures, HMP Norwich's drug and alcohol recovery service, said in her report Mr Blevins was drinking more than 12 pints a day and smoking £20 worth of heroin.

She said he detoxed in prison and added: "It's deeply upsetting to learn that he is no longer with us."

A report from Lakenham GP Surgery, in Norwich, said he had a "history of opiate drug use".

A post mortem examination report found no other cause of death than the drug combination.

Ms Blake returned a conclusion of a drug-related death, and added she did not believe Mr Blevins had intended to end his life.

She said: "It's much more likely that he lost his tolerance to heroin and he took some with fatal consequences."

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