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Cocaine user found dead in bed by woman he met at rank

A WOMAN woke up to discover a man she met at taxi rank the night before was lying dead in a bed beside her, an inquest heard yesterday.

Stephen Patrick Wardle (42) of St Gabriel’s Road, Clontarf, Dublin 3 could not be roused in room 225 of the Castleknock Hotel, in Castleknock Dublin 15, on the morning of January 27 last.

Veronica O’Connor called the emergency services and hotel reception when she was unable to wake Mr Wardle after 9am. The two had met the previous night at a taxi rank on College Green.

Ms O’Connor, of Whitethorn Close, Artane, came out of the hotel bathroom to find Mr Wardle snorting lines of cocaine in the bedroom, after which his nose started bleeding.


He had asked her if she did drugs and she said “No”, she said in a statement read in the Coroner’s Court. When Ms O’Conor fell asleep, Mr Wardle was sitting at the end of the bed and she awoke to find him in the same position.

A post-mortem found Mr Wardle died of a cardiac arrest due to cocaine intoxication with coronary artery disease as a contributory cause.

He had used heroin, but pathologist Dr Eamon Lean said this would not have affected his heart, and cocaine was the significant factor. The coroner, Dr Kieran Geraghty, recorded a verdict of misadventure at Dublin County Coroner’s Court.

In another case, Gerard Harris (45) of Kilmuhddrick Crescent, Clondalkin, Dublin 22, was found dead in bed by his nephew when he broke into his home on November 18 2007 after his ex-partner and family became concerned that he had not been seen for days.

A post-mortem found Mr Harris died of a blood clot which travelled to his lungs (pulmonary embolism) secondary to deep vein thrombosis, with cocaine and heroin as contributory causes.

The inquest was also told that Christine McCarthy (35) of Lower Kimmage Road, Dublin 6, was found in a disoriented condition by her father on the morning of October 12 2007.

Mr Joseph McCarthy, with whom Ms McCarthy was staying in Clondalkin at the time, called the emergency services and Ms McCarthy was taken to Tallaght Hospital where she was pronounced dead the following day.


A post-mortem found Ms McCarthy, who was attending a methadone clinic, died of a methadone overdose.

Shirley Armstrong (33) of St Mark’s Avenue, Clondalkin, was discovered collapsed at home on November 7 2007.

A post-mortem found she died of pneumonia and cirrhosis of the liver with drugs intoxication from cocaine and methadone as contributory causes.

The coroner recorded verdicts of death by misadventure in all three cases.

– Georgina O’Halloran

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