A WEM man who died after taking drugs did not intend to take his own life, a coroner has ruled.

Ross McDonald, a 34-year-old plumber from Round Meadow, Wem, was found unconscious on the floor of his bedroom at his home in March.

An ambulance was called but his death was pronounced at 9am.


Shropshire coroner John Ellery told the court in Shrewsbury on Thursday (August 17) that a post-mortem by Dr Laura Potter – assisted by a toxicology report from Kerry Taylor, a consultant toxicologist – highlighted that Mr McDonald had high levels of morphine in his body.

This, said Dr Potter, was because of the presence of heroin and cocaine in his system, leaving him with a heavier-than-normal heart, and would have contributed to his death.

Mr Ellery gave a conclusion of a drug-related death.

What happens at an inquest and what can the press report?

Reporting on inquests is one of the most difficult jobs faced by any journalist, but there are important reasons why local newspapers attend coroner’s court hearings and report on proceedings.

Here we will try and answer some of your questions about what will happen, what can be reported and why.