February 10, 2021 3.48 pm This story is over 10 months old

Homeless man died on Lincoln High Street while high on drugs

He was fighting addiction and depression

A rough sleeper who died in the doorway of a Lincoln High Street shop had been taking Mamba, according to a coroner’s inquest.

Lee Hunter, a 34-year-old father-of-three from Lincoln, was found dead outside the House of Fraser store at 9am on July 6, 2020.

He had spent the night in the covered doorway with his girlfriend and two other men, but couldn’t be woken the next morning, and so emergency services were called before he was pronounced dead at the scene.

Police cordoned off the area outside House of Fraser. Photo: The Lincolnite

He was named locally by his brother Stefan Hunter, who commented on The Lincolnite’s story saying: “RIP brother, you will be loved and missed.”

A post mortem examination found that Lee’s cause of death was drug toxicity as a result of taking synthetic cannabis.

An inquest found that Lee had been using Mamba, as well as epilepsy drug pregabalin, which slows the central nervous system.

Lincolnshire Police found no suspicious circumstances with Lee Hunter’s death, though his medical history showed he had become “over-reliant on alcohol and possibly new psychoactive substances” while suffering from depression in 2015.

Acting Senior Coroner Paul Smith said that Mr. Hunter had been taken to A&E after taking Mamba on two separate occasions, in December 2017 and March 2018.

He also had to be treated in the street by paramedics in August 2018, as well as collapsing outside the New Theatre Royal two days before his eventual death.

As well as this, Mr Hunter, while at Addaction in January 2020, admitted to staff that he was taking heroin daily.

He then served a three month sentence in prison, for an unspecified offence, before being released in June 2020 and being clean of drugs.

Paul Smith said: “The past behaviour of abusing synthetic cannabinoids appears to be reflected in the circumstances that led to his death.”

A fundraiser was set up to help Lee’s family at the time, with a target of £500 being greatly exceeded and eventually earning £1,900.

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