Man found collapsed in Shoreditch Park died of vet anaesthetic overdose
- Credit: PA Wire/Press Association Images
A young man found collapsed in Shoreditch Park died of a fatal dose of veterinary anaesthetic.
Amar Luchmee, 29, was not breathing when he was discovered by a dog walker just before 8am on November 15.
He had last been seen by his mother, Hemwamtee, the previous night at their home in Nuttall Street, Hoxton, Poplar Coroner’s Court heard at an inquest into his death.
Mrs Luchmee told the court she did not suspect he would take his own life: “He was well dressed, smartly with a suit, well shaved. I said, ‘My son looks handsome, where are you going?’ and he said he was going to a party. He was in a good mood and offered to make me a cup of tea.”
Mr Luchmee had been diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia in February 2013, after having hallucinations about God, the devil and angels, and hearing voices suggesting violence. His mother told the court he would experience terrible side effects from the anti-psychotic medication he was being injected with.
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She said: “He was a cultured person, he would debate any topic under the sun, but he would lose the thread of a conversation. He said, ‘It’s making me feel like a cabbage, I’m not able to remember things’. He couldn’t sleep, he heard voices in his ears getting louder and louder. He said, ‘how long will this carry on?’”
Mrs Luchmee recalled how, during an appointment with his GP a month before his death, he spoke of suicide as “the best way” of overcoming the side-effects of medication, but was told: “There’s no need for you to go down that route, there’s lots of help.”
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A toxicology report found Pentobarbital in Mr Luchmee’s blood at twice the fatal dose.
Coroner Jacqueline Devonish ruled an open verdict. She said: “It’s the medication that’s bothering me, how did he get it? That I’m not going to be able to answer, but it was a fatal dose, that means you will die. It’s a very strange drug to have in your possession, a very dangerous drug.
“It would appear he did make a purchase of anaesthetic and it was most likely to have been self-administered, but he could have been with people at the party who gave it to him to drink.
“To rule misadventure we need to be sure he took the anaesthetic himself but we really don’t know what happened, do we.”