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Death of man outside McDonald's Lowestoft was drug-related, inquest hears

PUBLISHED: 05:30 01 May 2019 | UPDATED: 15:42 02 May 2019

Tributes have been paid to 51-year-old John Riley. Photo: James Carr.

Tributes have been paid to 51-year-old John Riley. Photo: James Carr.

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The death of a homeless man found outside McDonald's in Lowestoft was drug-related, a coroner has concluded.

Tributes have been paid to 51-year-old John Riley. Photo: James Carr.Tributes have been paid to 51-year-old John Riley. Photo: James Carr.

Passers-by tried to carry out CPR on John Riley, from Lowestoft, after finding him in Station Square in the town on September 21 last year.

The 51-year-old was resuscitated by paramedics who attended the scene just 3mins 13secs after they were called, with ambulance crews rushing him to Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge.

However Mr Riley died the next day.

His death prompted an outpouring of emotional tributes in the town, with the bench outside the fast food restaurant quickly being covered in tributes - including a football shirt for his beloved Celtic FC.

Tributes have been paid to 51-year-old John Riley. Photo: James Carr.Tributes have been paid to 51-year-old John Riley. Photo: James Carr.

There were fears he had been assaulted prior to his death but an inquest held on Tuesday, April 30 into his death found no evidence to suggest injuries on his body had been a contributory factor.

Senior coroner Nigel Parsley told Mr Riley's daughter Donna, who attended the inquest: “They treated John for 35mins.

“Paramedics did as much as they could to revive John.

“They fought for him, they didn't give up on your dad.”

Tributes have been paid to 51-year-old John Riley. Photo: James Carr.Tributes have been paid to 51-year-old John Riley. Photo: James Carr.

The inquest heard Mr Riley had moved to Lowestoft from Glasgow and had struggled with drug and alcohol addiction for many years.

A toxicology report revealed he had a high level of drugs in his blood at the time of his death.

Mr Parsley added: “There is no evidence whatsoever he meant his life to end. My conclusion is this was a drug related death.”

In a statement read out during the inquest, his daughter Donna described him as a doting father who had given his eight children a very happy and stable childhood.

She said: “We had everything we ever wanted. We had love and stability.”

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