A dad choked to death on a parcel containing crack cocaine and heroin after being pulled over by police, an inquest heard.
Ronald Robinson, 56, was driving a hire car which triggered an automatic number plate recognition camera in Blackpool on March 11 last year.
He initially refused to pull over when signalled to by police, but when he eventually did, they saw him put a small package in his mouth. He then collapsed and died.
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A five-day inquest which started on Monday at Blackpool Town Hall heard that the 7cm package contained eight wraps of heroin and five of crack cocaine inside a plastic money bag, reports LancsLive.
At the start of the inquest, the jury heard a statement read out by Mr Robinson's sister Mandy who described her brother as 'bubbly and funny'.
She said: "He came from a hard-working family and our parents did everything for us. I was closest to Ronald; he was our big brother and always looked out for us."
Miss Robinson described how her brother became involved in drugs after splitting up with the mum of three of his children and moving into his own property.
"He had no money and wasn't able to care for himself," she added.
"I went to visit him in Blackpool and he was living in accommodation provided by the local authority. He looked pasty and skinny. I found it impossible to get help for Ronald."
At the beginning of last year Mr Robinson's family, who are from Luton, managed to get him a place in a private rehab clinic to tackle his heroin addiction.
He responded to treatment well and "appeared to be looking a lot healthier," the court heard.
After leaving rehab he returned to Blackpool and his sister said he "always assured me he wasn't back on drugs."
However, in the early evening of March 11 last year he was seen swallowing the small package and collapsed.
Despite extensive attempts to resuscitate him he was pronounced dead at Blackpool Victoria Hospital.
The package was later removed from his airway and tests confirmed it contained heroin and crack cocaine.
"My mum shouldn't have had to bury her son," Mr Robinson's sister said. "Ronald was a mummy's boy and mum's favourite. Ronald has missed out on a lot and will always be missed."
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Home Office pathologist Dr Alison Armour confirmed the cause of death was upper airway obstruction caused by the package Mr Robinson swallowed.
Dr Armour also confirmed that Mr Robinson had both heroin and cocaine in his system.
She told the jury that when the two drugs are taken together, something which is known as "speed-balling," the combined toxic effects are enhanced.
The inquest continues with the officers who detained Mr Robinson due to give evidence today (June 21).
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