Well-known Dublin hairstylist Darren Lacken died 14 months ago of complications from a cocaine overdose at his family home, an inquest has found.
Postmortem results, revealed at a Dublin District Court hearing, showed the award-winning stylist and co-owner of the Crow Street Collective salon in Temple Bar, Dublin, had “lethal levels” of the drug in his system.
The high-profile hairstylist, who has worked with leading models and celebrities including Alexa Chung, Phillip Treacy, Cara Delevingne, Vogue Williams, Angela Scanlon and Roz Purcell, died suddenly on November 17, 2021 at his family home in Killala Road, Cabra West.
CONTINUE READING: Repeat ‘Beast from the East’ date could blanket Ireland in snow as fears of ‘big’ weather events mount
Mr Lacken, 41, from Griffin Close, Clondalkin, was discovered in his bedroom in an unresponsive state by his mother Betty around 4pm.
The deceased’s sister, Andrea Lacken, told the inquest that her brother usually spent a few nights each week at the house.
Ms Lacken got emotional as she recalled him saying he was quite tired and “burned out” from his business when he called the night before to stay the night.
She said her brother also complained about being under the weather because of a chest infection, for which he was prescribed several different medications.
The investigation revealed that Mr Lacken had watched television with his family but had not eaten or drunk anything.
Ms Lacken said she left the house at 10:15 p.m. to go to work and her brother joked that he wouldn’t hug her because he was ill.
However, she said her brother was “just relaxing and seemed happy enough.”
Ms. Lacken fought back tears and said, “I told him I loved him.”
The witness said she came home from work the next morning but did not call her brother’s room as usual because she wanted to let him rest.
Ms Lacken said she was woken up around 4pm by her mother, who said she thought her son was dead because she couldn’t wake him.
She described finding her brother in his bed with her eyes open but “cold to the touch”.
“He was the best brother anyone could have,” she remarked.
She added: “We were relieved it happened at the family home and not elsewhere. He was home where he belonged.”
She said the family subsequently searched his bedroom and holdall but “nothing was found”.
Detective Garda Brendan Cafferkey testified that there was nothing suspicious or evidence of foul play in relation to Mr Lacken’s death.
He described how a number of medicines prescribed for the deceased to treat infections and aid in sleeping were found in the home, but there was no evidence of other medicines.
Coroner, Aisling Gannon, said cocaine is a drug that can cause an irregular heartbeat that could lead to sudden death.
She noted that whenever a person takes it, there is a risk that the drug will be fatal.
Ms Gannon noted that Mr Lacken had died of “acute cocaine intoxication”.
While post-mortem results had shown the deceased had early signs of cardiac fibrosis and fatty liver disease, the coroner said it was not a factor in his death.
Because there was no evidence that Mr. Lacken’s death was a premeditated act, the coroner entered a verdict of death by accident.
Get the latest news delivered to your inbox by Sign up for our newsletter