Death of father, 36, a mystery

Date published: 13 August 2014

A DAD-OF-FOUR died in Limeside under “mysterious circumstances” an inquest heard.

Christopher Kieron Pilling, from Radcliffe, was 36 when he passed away at a house in Birch Avenue on December 8, 2012.

On the eve of his death he had been drinking in Oldham with his friend Ashley Burgwin, who failed to attend yesterday’s inquest in Heywood to give evidence.

The court heard how Mr Pilling had bought cans of lager and some vodka, which he consumed throughout the night, along with some cannabis and cocaine.

But he had complained of having a bad headache and was also seen to take four paracetamol and two cocodamol tablets.

In the early hours, the pair made their way to Mr Burgwin’s sister’s home in Birch Avenue where Mr Pilling continued to struggle with pain and eventually fell asleep on the couch.

The following afternoon, Mr Burgwin got up and found Mr Pilling “asleep” on the couch, but on realising he was cold, called an ambulance.

Dr Daniel Du Plessis, who carried out the post-mortem examination, reported finding a moderate amount of alcohol, along with a low amount of cocaine and cannabis in his blood.

There were also low levels of medicinal drugs and anti-depressants.

He reported that the cocaine may have had an effect on Mr Pilling’s cardiovascular system.

Assistant coroner Michael Salt, gave an open conclusion.

“We are dealing with the death of a young man who has passed away in somewhat mysterious circumstances,” he said.

“The use of cocaine was very low level and did not have a major effect in relation to this case unless he was a chronic abuser of cocaine.

“There’s no suggestion in his history of this.”

Mr Pilling’s mother, Agnes, told the court that she had not been aware of her son’s use of cocaine.