Drug addict friend of Gravesend teen Edward Barry failed to call ambulance
A DRUG addict who saw a 14-year-old Gravesend boy in a "bad way" hours before he died of a drugs overdose, failed to call an ambulance, an inquest has heard.
Edward Barry was found dead in a Parrock Street flat on November 2009 with fatal levels of methadone and traces of diazepam in his body.
Just the evening before, 29-year-old James Drummond returned to his flat to find Edward "incoherent, slurring his words and slumped".
Mr Drummond, who was a methadone addict of 10 years, told Gravesend Town Hall this afternoon: "I believed he was under the influence of alcohol, but not hard drugs.
"He had too much to drink and he would sleep it off.
"If I was seeing signs of him using hard drugs I would have called an ambulance. "
After being pushed on the subject he said: "I thought he was drunk and could have possibly taken drugs".
Using his first aid experience he put the Gravesend Grammar School boy in the recovery position so he wouldn't choke on his vomit.
Mr Drummond told the inquest he checked Edward twice in the night and at noon again, before adding: "I woke up and instantly went to the bedroom and saw Ed.
"He was cold to the touch."
Jurors were told he dialled 999 from the house phone and told ambulance control "he's not breathing, I'm pretty sure he's dead."
He rolled Edward onto his back before remaining on the phone until paramedics arrived. Ambulance staff then called police.
A bottle of half empty methadone was found on the kitchen counter about six feet from where Edward was found dead, the inquest heard.
Edward, who was openly gay, according to Mr Drummond, had been staying at his flat after a fall out with his parents.
Mr Drummond insists he did not supply Mr Edward with the drugs.
Earlier in the inquest, the court was read an email from Edward's consultant psychiatrist to Kent County Council which recommended Edward be taken into secure social services accommodation in 2009.
It read: "In my professional opinion Edward would benefit from secure placement.
"I understand you are doing your best to find respite accommodation.
"I think Ed does fulfill the criteria for secure social services based on ongoing behaviours."
Meanwhile Edward's youth worker Patrick Grant said he did not have "any concrete evidence of his drug taking" but said "he placed himself in dangerous situations, stayed out all night and was possibly self-harming."
The inquest continues.