Drug victim ‘mixed with wrong crowd’

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Jonathan Wilkinson Jonathan Wilkinson

Police have named the four men who have died in connection with a suspected contaminated batch of heroin which is believed to be circulating in Bradford.

The deceased are Dominic Hempsey, 24, of Wedgemoor Close, Wyke, Kenneth Hunter, 47, of St Hilda’s Terrace, Bradford Moor, Douglas Hacking, 46, of Weetwood Road, Girlington, and Jonathan Wilkinson, 42, of Norwood Avenue, Shipley.

Father of one Mr Wilkinson, a felter by trade, became the fourth victim in as many days when he died in hospital on Monday.

The bodies of the other men were all found at their home addresses.

An inquest was opened and adjourned into the death of Mr Hempsey, who was also known as Dominic Ingram, at Bradford Coroner’s Court yesterday.

A police spokesman said: “The post-mortem examinations were inconclusive. We’re waiting for the results of toxicology tests which could take about two weeks.”

Police issued an urgent warning to drug users on Sunday following the quick succession of deaths on Friday and Saturday.

Detectives suspect contaminated heroin being peddled in Bradford is behind the deaths and they are urging anyone looking to take drugs to seek help. Bradford South CID Acting Detective Inspector Craig Lord refused to rule out the possibility of more people falling victim to the deadly batch.

Mr Wilkinson’s twin brother, Nicholas, of Owlet Road, Shipley, said Jonathan, or Johnny as he was known to his friends, had fallen in with the wrong crowd.

He said: “We were close. I saw him on Wednesday before it happened and he was fine. Next thing I knew I got a phone call to say he was in hospital.

“I had no idea he was taking heroin. Drink was his thing. It was certain people he was mixing with.

“He had a car crash 15 years ago. He was boy racing and crashed into a lamppost at 100mph. It left him with a blood clot on the brain.

“Since then he hadn’t worked. His wife left him and he hadn’t seen his daughter for 15 years. It got him down and he just drank himself silly.

“He probably took drugs out of boredom and mixing with the wrong people. He just did what they did.”

He said people who took heroin should expect the consequences.

“If you are foolish enough to take it, you’re foolish enough to take it. They shouldn’t be taking it. There’s more to life than heroin.”

He said his brother had been friends with another of the victims, Mr Hacking, as a teenager.

Three men aged 25, 28 and 31 have been questioned on suspicion of being concerned in the supply of controlled drugs. They have been bailed pending further inquiries.

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