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Teenager died during heroin binge; youngster, 19, had been warned about cannabis but turned to harder drugs.

Byline: JONATHAN PICKLES

A TEENAGER died during a heroin binge just two years after his family warned him about his dabbling with cannabis, an inquest heard.

Former sea cadet Chris Sale, 19, began smoking cannabis when he was 17 but later took so many stronger drugs his girlfriend threatened to leave him.

Last February 24, Chris, from Middlewich, Cheshire, collapsed after mixing a large amount of heroin with valium in a friend's bedroom. He died at the house despite attempts by paramedics to revive him.

Chris, a former B&M store worker who played rugby and cricket for local clubs, had started taking cocaine after initially smoking cannabis but later switched to Valium, also known as Diazepam.

In a statement read to the Crewe hearing, his girlfriend Jade Shaw, 19, said: "In late 2017, he started to take Valium. He used to do cocaine but he didn't like the comedown so he started doing Valium.

"He became addicted to it. He said that he liked to do it because it stopped him having a panic attack.

"I could tell he had taken it when speaking to him because he couldn't talk properly and he would misspell words when texting.

"I once told him it was me or the Valium. When we went on holiday to Turkey in January 2018, he would scream in his sleep and I think this was a result of the drugs. He also told me on holiday that he had tried heroin before."

Recalling the tragedy of his death in 2017, she added: "I tried calling him continuously and I was getting worried. I said to his Dad that I knew he had been at his friend's house in Sandbach. At around 3pm, his dad said that he had contacted the police.

"It was just after 4pm that his dad called me; he was emotional and screaming and he told me Chris was dead. I couldn't believe what happened, I screamed and dropped my phone."

Chris's father David Sale said in a statement: "I think he started smoking cannabis at around 16 or 17. I tried to discourage him from smoking cannabis and I told him he wasn't allowed it in the house.

"Around October 2017, I noticed some changes in Chris, he had become more lethargic. I had to take him to A&E that month as he had drunk a lot of alcohol and had clearly taken something else."

Police found drugs in a plastic box and a roll of tin foil which was open plus evidence they were being prepared on a desk. Officers said there were no suspicious circumstances. Toxicology tests showed Chris had 287 microgrammes of heroin in 100 millilitres of blood.

Assistant coroner Heath Westerman recorded a conclusion of drug related death.

CAPTION(S):

Chris Sale with his girlfriend Jade Shaw

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Publication:Manchester Evening News (Manchester, United Kingdom)
Date:Jul 28, 2018
Words:471
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