Man dies after taking heroin outside John Lewis

Exeter police have said there is “no clear” evidence from which to prosecute after the death of a young man outside a John Lewis car park in Exeter.

Heroin john lewis the tab the tab exeter

Due to conflicting accounts surrounding the circumstances of Lee Johnson’s death no one has been charged regarding the drug use.

One witness said Lee had injected himself, whilst another said he been injected by another drug user. However, the inquest also heard there was no sign of a struggle.

The event happened outside the John Lewis car park last September

Lee, from Wiley’s Avenue, Exeter was described as a chronic alcoholic and drug abuser. 

At the inquest in which his family said he had not used drugs for the last five years it was also revealed he had asked for a Hepatitis C test a few weeks before his death after allegedly using dirty needles.

Prior to his death, Mr Johnson met with two other men at the car park where they all used heroin. Unfortunately, while the other men “came around”, Mr Johnson did not. 

The 29 year old was pronounced dead around 1.30am on September 4 last year at the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital after attempts to revive him at the scene failed.

The view of John Lewis from Exeter’s High Street

The cause of death was declared as morphine and alcohol toxicity, as a toxicology report showed high levels in his system.

Investigating officer DC Tobie Carter said: “There was not sufficient evidence to prove someone had administered heroin to Lee and no evidence to support a criminal prosecution.”

Assistant coroner Andrew Cox gave an accidental death verdict. 

He said: “This was a deliberate attempt to take alcohol and heroin but I am not persuaded there was any intent to take something that would result in Lee’s death. It was an unanticipated outcome of a deliberate event.”