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Former Newmarket couple died in Red Lodge in drug related deaths, inquest hears



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A Suffolk couple died together in their flat after accidentally overdosing on Methadone, an inquest has heard.

Charlene Spice, 35, and Michael Hall, 49, formerly of 1 Granby Street in Newmarket, were found by friend Michael King on November 11 at a flat in Myrtle Lane, Red Lodge, into which they had recently moved.

Mr King had gone to check on his friends, who were from Newmarket, after his calls to them had gone unanswered.

Michael Hall and Charlene Spice.
Michael Hall and Charlene Spice.

The inquest, at Suffolk Coroner's Court in Ipswich, heard statements from family members, with Charlene's sister Tanita Steerment describing the mother-of-two as 'a bubbly spirit with a big heart'.

Father-of-three Michael's daughter Poppaea told how her father had always had issues with self-prescribing medication.

Mr Hall had previously been homeless in Newmarket, but began staying with Miss Spice after the two met and began a relationship.

Mr King told the inquest that the couple had battled alcoholism, mental health problems and drug issues for many years, but were caring individuals.

He recounted occasions when Charlene had accompanied his partner home from the pub to see that she was safe, and how he had loaned the couple money many times and that they always paid him back, despite having limited financial means.

Toxicology reports showed potentially fatal levels of methadone in the systems of both Charlene and Michael, along with cocaine and other non-illegal drugs, with pneumonia listed as a contributing factor in both death.

The medical cause of death was listed as multiple drug ingestion and toxicity and underlying pneumonia in both cases.

Summarising in the inquest of Michael, area coroner Jacqueline Devonish said: "There is nothing suspicious in these deaths and no evidence of suicide, according to police, and the toxicology findings are very clear."

She went on to conclude that both individuals had died a drug related death.

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