Monday, 31 August 2015

Drug sparked a chain reaction in Barrow dad’s body

THE body of a dad who died after being tasered was a “furnace out of control” and a drug he took would have killed him whether or not police were involved, an inquest heard.

Leading cardiologist Professor Kevin Channer told the inquest into the death of Dale Burns once he took the drug MDPV he began a chain of events that led to a cardiac arrest.

But another expert told the hearing Mr Burns’ struggle against police restraints could have contributed to his death. Dad-of-two Mr Burns, 27, was tasered four times in under a minute by police in his flat in Hartington Street, Barrow, on August 16, 2011, as well as being restrained and sprayed with PAVA spray.

He was taken to Furness General Hospital where he was sedated and went into cardiac arrest and died.

Prof Channer said the so-called “designer drug” MDPV, which was in Mr Burns’ system, caused a “metabolic derangement” that led to his heart problems. The process of chemical change in his blood stream began before police were called to his flat about 6.30pm. He said: “The process had been started some time earlier and it could not be stopped.” His body had become a “furnace out of control” and his heart could not cope with what was happening to him, Prof Channer said.

Counsel to the inquest, Mr Jonathan Hough, asked what may have happened if police had never engaged Mr Burns. Prof Channer replied: “He would have died.”

However, Dr Nat Cary – a forensic pathologist – said although he believed the drug was the main cause of death, Mr Burns’ struggle against restraint could also have played a part.

As Mr Burns struggled his muscles would have broken down, raising the levels of certain chemicals in his blood that could trigger a cardiac arrest, he said.

Mr Burns’ medical history showed he had suffered the adverse effects of taking MDPV or similar drugs before and survived, Dr Cary said.

“The difference between survival and non-survival may be the level of exercise that occurred on this occasion,” he said.

However, he added “but for the drug this would not have happened”.

The inquest, which is being held in the County Hall, Kendal, is expected to conclude next week.

Have your say

The man had a long history of abusing illegal and then so called 'legal highs' and died because of that. The medical facts are that the taser did not kill him the drugs's very sad indeed and I feel for his family and friends but stop look for fault in the authorities....the inquest was transparent and all the facts know, stop spinning the truth

Posted by E on 15 February 2013 at 11:44

A very sad case of a young life lost for no reason. The media would do better to label this muck "Knocked up in a filthy garage in Amsterdam" rather than "Designer Drugs". It conveys the image of coolness and acceptability, when it is so far from that, and it has cost this poor family their loved one.

Posted by Patience of Job on 11 February 2013 at 15:02

View all 68 comments on this article

Make your comment

Your name

Your Email

Your Town/City

Your comment


Hot jobs

New vacancies


BBC News business headlines