A WHITCHURCH man died because of different drugs in his system, not because of an overdose of methadone, a coroner has ruled.

Wayne Clutton was found dead at a friend’s flat on March 21 this year and the inquest into his death on August 3 was adjourned after a request by his family for more information around ‘missing’ methadone.

His sister, Esther Clutton-Harris, had told Shropshire coroner John Ellery at the August inquest that toxicology results showed more methadone in his system than she knew he had in his possession.

She asked him to urge police to question a friend of Mr Clutton after raising what she felt was a discrepancy between toxicologist Dr Kerry Taylor’s report and evidence she had seen.


Mr Ellery, at the resumption of Mr Clutton’s inquest on Tuesday, September 26, re-asserted that he did not consider the death to be suicide and ruled it was a drug-related death.

Dr Taylor appeared via video, and explained to Mrs Clutton-Harris – who asked questions with clarity and patience, thanking the doctor for her answers – that Mr Clutton may have built up a tolerance to methadone over his two decades as a user.

Mr Ellery highlighted to Mr Clutton’s family that the cause of death was multi-drug toxicity and not a methadone overdose.

His ruling was accepted by his family but Mrs Clutton-Harris maintained their view that he was not in possession of enough methadone to kill him.

“I accept what he was but he was still our brother," said Mrs Clutton-Harris after hearing Dr Taylor's evidence. 

“Over the years he has taken massive amounts of drugs.

“Even though these results are here, I will always know my brother and what he could tolerate and know that wouldn’t have killed him.”

Mr Ellery concluded: “The simple fact is that I have to record the cause of death and I have to reach a conclusion.

“There’s no guilt around it and there’s no negligence.

“Wayne has died from multi-drug toxicity where methadone has played a part but not in entirety.”