Gentle giant Tim died after taking medicine

Tim Ralph
Tim Ralph

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GENTLE giant Tim Ralph died after accidentally overdosing on strong painkillers, an inquest was told.

He never woke up after taking eight times the therapeutic dose of tramadol, a medication for severe pain.

An inquest at Portsmouth Guildhall heard the 28-year-old’s weight had gone up to 50st at one point and he had a number of health issues, including angina, ulcers and diabetes.

He managed to get his weight down to 40st, but was still struggling with his health and slept in the living room of the family home in Swaythling Road, Leigh Park.

The inquest heard that on May 15 this year he took an unknown amount of prescribed medication and fell asleep as his mum, Beverley Lock, watched television.

At about 2.30pm his girlfriend Melissa arrived but was unable to wake him.

After 30 minutes of trying to wake him, Mr Ralph stopped breathing.

An ambulance crew were unable to revive him and he was pronounced dead at about 5.10pm.

Pathologist Melinda Morrell said she found a blood concentration of tramadol of 6.2mg per litre.

She said any dose over 2mg is lethal to the human body.

Mrs Lock said: ‘I felt like he had had a breakdown, but he was getting his life back together.

‘He had just bought a brand new television and a PlayStation 4.

‘He had just booked and paid for a fishing trip. He was even trying to get a deposit to get a place with Melissa.’

But she added: ‘He was in awful pain. He cried and would not let me out of his sight. We were very close. To my mind there was absolutely so sign whatsoever that he would do it on purpose.’

Coroner David Horsley said: ‘I think what has happened is he’s inadvertently taken too much medication.

‘He was not thinking straight. He was forgetful because of his strong painkillers. I have to conclude his death is due to an accident.

‘Any form of strong painkiller is a two-edged sword. You get spaced out and woozy.’

More than 200 people attended Mr Ralph’s funeral at Havant Crematorium and an online memorial page described him as a ‘gentle giant’ with a ‘heart of gold’.