Page last updated at 12:50 GMT, Thursday, 1 May 2008 13:50 UK

Addict died after car wheel grab

Inquest report
The coroner heard how Mr Grindley wanted to become a drugs counsellor

A heroin addict died after he jerked the steering wheel from his wife's control because she would not drive him to buy drugs, an inquest has heard.

David Grindley, 27, from Higher Kinnerton, Flintshire, was due to start a university course to become a drugs counsellor, Flint Coroners Court heard.

On the day he died, he had not taken drugs for two days and was frustrated when his wife, then 39 weeks pregnant, refused to drive him to get drugs.

His death was recorded as accidental.

The inquest heard how Mr Grindley had a private school education and was introduced to drugs by a former girlfriend.

He started with cannabis at the age of 17 before progressing to ecstasy and then heroin.

But his mother Valerie Auckland said he started to turn his life around in 2006 when he met his wife Carla.

The pair, who married in May 2007, travelled to Australia together where he received implants to help fight his drug addiction.

His mother told how her son applied for a universty course in Wrexham and wanted to become a drugs counsellor to "give something back".

Scan picture

On 11 September 2007 she said he had been happy and had been singing songs.

Mrs Auckland said: "He was in a very very good mood and looking forward to going to university."

She also told how he carried a pricture of his unborn baby's scan in his wallet and was looking forward to becoming a father.

Later, when his wife Carla returned home from work she drove him to a nearby shop where they withdrew cash.

The court heard how in evidence Mrs Grindley said: "As soon as he had the money that's when he wanted to go and score."

She said her husband had been clean for two days and she was reluctant to allow him to buy drugs.

Injuries

But Mr Grindley became "agitated" and told her to turn the car around.

The coroner heard how he jerked the steering wheel causing her to lose control of the car on the A55 near DobsHill in Flintshire.

The car overturned ending up on its roof.

Mr Grindley, who was not wearing a seat belt was thrown from the car and suffered severe multiple injuries including swelling of the brain and died in hospital in Chester nine days later.

Mrs Grindley was found hanging upside down from her seat-belt and was freed by a doctor who witnessed the accident.

The court heard she had since given birth to a baby girl who was the "spitting image of her father".

Recording a verdict of accidental death, North East Wales Coroner John Hughes told Mr Grindley's family: "I want you to understand the heaviness in my heart in having to adjudicate a case of this type."

He said Mrs Grindley had "bravely" refused to take him to buy drugs.

He added: "Her husband totally unexpectedly and without warning grabbed the wheel of the car and jerked it to the left. Mrs Grindley had no real opportunity of rescuing the position.

"That position was made worse because Mr Grindley wasn't wearing a seat belt. If he had been, there's no doubt at all he would have survived."

The coroner said Mr Grindley was a young man who had grappled "manfully" with heroin addiction and his death was a tragic loss.



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