Man, 27, hanged himself during video call with his ex-partner after he took ‘huge amount’ of street drug ‘monkey dust’, inquest hears
- John Bentley, 27, took his own life after consuming a street drug ‘monkey dust’
- Was found by emergency teams at his home in Smallthorne in Stoke-on-Trent
- Mr Bentley had been on a video call with his ex-partner as he hanged himself
- For confidential support, call the Samaritans on 116123 or visit a local Samaritans branch. See www.samaritans.org for details
A man hanged himself while on a video call with his former girlfriend after taking a street drug known as ‘Monkey Dust’, an inquest has heard.
John Bentley, 27, took his own life after consuming a ‘huge amount’ of the dangerous synthetic drug at his home in Smallthorne, Stoke-on-Trent in Staffordshire on March 25.
Despite the efforts of the emergency services, Mr Bentley, who had been on a video call with his ex-partner as he hanged himself in his loft, was pronounced dead at the scene.
John Bentley, 27, took his own life after taking a ‘huge amount’ of the dangerous synthetic drug ‘Monkey Dust’ at his home in Smallthorne, Stoke-on-Trent in Staffordshire on March 25
A post-mortem examination found morphine and heroin as well as the synthetic cathinone, known as monkey dust, in his system.
An inquest today heard Mr Bentley, who had suffered with his mental health ever since the death of his father when he was aged just 10, had been on a video call with his ex-partner as he took his own life.
A police officer told the inquest: ‘We received a call from someone who said she had watched him do it. She said he climbed into the loft and hanged himself. She had been on a video call while it had been taking place.
‘She called the ambulance. There was no third party involvement.’
PC Georgina Brudzinska, who spoke to Mr Bentley’s ex-partner following the tragedy, said: ‘She had been in a relationship with him but they had separated one year earlier. She told him it was over.
‘She received a video call from Mr Bentley at 6am and he stated he could not live without her. He said ”I can’t live with you”.
‘He phoned again and put his phone down. He went into the loft. She tried to call his mother but there was no answer so she called 999. She said he was drugged out of his face.’
In a statement, Mr Bentley’s mother Debra said: ‘Three days earlier my daughter had come to visit. She found a picture of John and his dad and numerous suicide notes addressed to friends and family.
An inquest at Stoke-on-Trent coroners court heard that morphine, heroin as well as the synthetic cathinone, were found in Mr Bentley’s system
‘I called 111 and they gave me the number for the crisis team. He wouldn’t let this happen and said he was OK.
‘I was not aware that he had any intention to take his own life. I would have stopped him and supported him.’
North Staffordshire senior coroner Andrew Barkley ruled Mr Bentley’s cause of death as hanging.
He said: ‘This was an intentional act committed by him.’
For confidential support, call the Samaritans on 116123 or visit a local Samaritans branch. See www.samaritans.org for details
What is the street drug ‘monkey dust’?
The street drug, which is commonly referred to a ‘monkey dust’ is a synthetic cathinone which is similar but different to natural cathinone and produces much stronger effects.
Most cathinones are found as either a fine white, off-white or yellowish powder, but some can be brown in colour and the effects can be similar to those of MDMA or cocaine.
The drugs are usually snorted like cocaine or wrapped in paper and swallowed but they can also be found as capsules and pills.
Those who take the drug describe feelings of euphoria and empathy as well as an increased alertness and talkativeness.
The drug has also earned the titles ‘Zombie Dust’ and ‘Cannibal Dust’ for its sinister side effects and police are now warning the public to steer clear.
The drug can over-stimulate the heart and the nervous system and cause fits.
It can also cause hyperthermia by inducing very high body temperatures.