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Tuesday 19 November 2019

Man (35) began 'turning blue' after struggle with gardai, his inquest hears

Daniel Morris died in 2017
Daniel Morris died in 2017

A man who died following a drug-related episode appeared to be "turning blue" following a struggle with gardai, an inquest into his death has heard.

Coroner Dr Myra Cullinane yesterday returned a verdict of death by misadventure on Daniel Morris (35), who died on September 22, 2017.

Gardai tried to restrain Mr Morris after he gained entry to two homes in Temple Manor Drive, Dublin 12, shortly after crashing his Volvo into railings near the entrance of the Temple Manor estate at around 8.30pm.

Mr Morris - who shouted that he was being chased by criminals - had been handcuffed while face down by four gardai, who then placed him in the recovery position.

Philip Brady, of the Dublin Fire Brigade (DFB), arrived soon after and noticed that he was "turning blue" around his mouth.

Fire personnel asked for the handcuffs to be removed so that they could perform CPR.

DFB advanced paramedic Jim Doyle said Mr Morris's heart was not beating when he arrived on the scene.

He felt a pulse return before Mr Morris was transferred to Tallaght University Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 9.38pm.

Pathologist Professor Marie Cassidy said a post-mortem examination indicated Mr Morris had died suddenly, with his death caused by disturbed behaviour on the background of cocaine intoxication. She noted coronary atheroma as a possible contributing factor.

She said non-lethal levels of diazepam, cocaine and cannabis were found in his system.

Prof Cassidy found Mr Morris had sustained a series of non-fatal bruises and abrasions. No evidence of excessive force used to restrain him was found.

Fractured

His heel was also fractured but the pathologist was unable to confirm the cause.

The jury heard Mr Morris was his "normal self" earlier in the day when he chatted on the phone to his mother and had dinner with his family.

After dinner, he took his car to visit a friend before giving him a lift to Leopardstown.

It is not known where Mr Morris was after 5pm in the lead-up to the incident.

After the crash, he made his way to Temple Manor Drive, where he began frantically knocking on and kicking at doors.

Ken Blair was at home with his family when he heard the deceased "banging and kicking" on his sitting room window, shouting: "Let me in, they're going to kill me."

He opened the door to Mr Morris, who rushed into his hallway.

Mr Blair phoned gardai immediately.

Mr Blair said Mr Morris asked to "tell my children I love them".

Mr Morris ran out of number 18 and into 16 Temple Manor Drive when Detective Garda Jason Weir arrived on the scene.

Addressing Mr Morris's family, the coroner expressed her deepest condolences and assured them that his death "would have been sudden, he would have immediately lost consciousness, and wouldn't have been aware of anything after the cardiac atheroma".

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