A MOTHER has paid tribute to her son – found dead in public toilets after a heroin overdose.
Joel Sutton, of no fixed address, was 43 when he died on October 7 last year.
He was found in Little London public toilets in Chichester city centre.
A post-mortem examination at Worthing Hospital on October 9 found the cause of death to be severe morphine toxicity.
“He rang home about a week before his death,” said his mother, Cynthia Sutton.
“He was happy and looking forward to a job interview he had coming up.
“He seemed well, and sober.”
Joel had lived and worked as a chef in the area for some ten years, and lived in properties in Emsworth, Bosham, Arundel and Bognor Regis.
“Joel had started smoking marijuana and using heroin when he left home and had moved to London,” said his mother. “He drank a lot from an early age – when he was in his 20s.
“He was a normal and happy child and he got on well at school.
“He passed all his exams then went on to college to train to become a chef.
“In his 20s, he moved to London and had a good job at the Hoover building.”
She said Joel was ‘always very tidy,’ and liked to wear smart clothing.
“He would spend his last penny on his hair – he liked to look perfect and would look after himself,” she said.
Lorraine Smith works for cleaning company Wettons, which has a contract to clean the toilets on a daily basis.
“On October 7 at around 3.45pm I proceeded to do the last clean of the day,” she told the inquest.
“The disabled toilet was in use so I carried on to the next toilet.
“A man came running out of the disabled toilet, very distressed and disturbed. He told me to call an ambulance and said ‘my friend has taken an overdose’.
“I phoned for an ambulance immediately.
“I did CPR for about seven minutes until the paramedics arrived.
“Another man came in and took over while the paramedics set up their equipment.
“There was no pulse and he wasn’t breathing.”
Prior to his death, Joel had been staying with his former girlfriend Jadwiga Milewicz, in South Mundham.
She had dropped him in Stockbridge Road on the morning of October 7.
“He said he was going to the job centre then to the library to use the internet,” she said.
“He was looking for a job. That was the last time I saw him.”
Recording a conclusion of accidental death, coroner Martin Milward said: “We believe he took heroin while in the disabled toilet then collapsed.
“He had been a regular drug-user to the extent he described himself as an addict receiving methadone on prescription.
“He died from severe morphine toxicity.
“The level of morphine in his blood caused him to collapse and die.
“He had taken a large quantity of heroin.
“He also had a significant level of alcohol in his blood.”
No-one has been charged in relation to the incident.
A police spokesman said: “The 33-year-old man from Chichester arrested on suspicion of possession with intent to supply class-A drugs has been released without charge.”