Irish hairstylist used by Hollywood stars died of cocaine overdose at family home, inquest hears
A high-profile Dublin hair stylist died of a cocaine overdose at his family home, an inquest has heard.
A postmortem of Darren Lacken showed the award-winning stylist and co‑owner of Crow Street Collective salon in Temple Bar had ‘lethal levels’ of the drug in his body.
The well-known hairdresser, who worked with top models and celebrities including Alexa Chung, Philip Treacy, Cara Delevingne, Vogue Williams, Angela Scanlon and Roz Purcell, died suddenly at Killala Road, Cabra West, on November 17, 2021.
Yesterday, his sister recalled how she told him she loved him on the night of his death and that he was ‘the best brother you could have’.
A postmortem of Darren Lacken (pictured) showed the award-winning stylist and co‑owner of Crow Street Collective salon in Temple Bar had ‘lethal levels’ of the drug in his body
Mr Lacken, 41, from Griffin Close, Clondalkin, Dublin, was found in an unresponsive state in his bedroom at around 4pm by his mother, Betty.
The deceased’s sister, Andrea Lacken, told the inquest at Dublin District Coroner’s Court that her brother had usually stayed a couple of nights each week in the house at Killala Road, Cabra West.
Ms Lacken became emotional as she recalled how he said he was quite tired and ‘burnt’ from his business when he called to stay overnight the previous evening.
She said her brother had also complained about being under the weather from a chest infection for which he had been prescribed several different medicines.
The inquest heard Mr Lacken had watched TV with his family but had not had any food or drink.
Ms Lacken said she left the house at 10.15pm to go to work and her brother joked that he would not give her a hug because he was sick. However, she said her brother was ‘just relaxing and seemed happy enough’.
Fighting back tears, Ms Lacken said: ‘I told him I loved him.’
Ms Lacken (pictured) became emotional as she recalled how he said he was quite tired and ‘burnt’ from his business when he called to stay overnight the previous evening.
She said she returned home from work the following morning but did not call into her brother’s room because she wanted to let him rest.
She said she was woken at around 4pm by her mother, who said she thought her son was dead because she could not wake him up.
Ms Lacken described finding her brother in his bed with his eyes open but he was ‘cold to the touch’.
She said: ‘He was the best brother you could ever have.’
She added: ‘We were relieved it happened in the family home and not somewhere else. He was home where he belonged.’
Ms Lacken told the inquest the family had subsequently searched his bedroom and his overnight bag but that ‘nothing was found’.
Detective Garda Brendan Cafferkey gave evidence that there was nothing suspicious in Mr Lacken’s death, nor any sign of foul play.
He outlined how several medicines used to treat infections and assist with sleeping, which had been prescribed to the deceased, were found in the house but said there was no evidence of any other drugs.
The coroner, Aisling Gannon, said cocaine was a drug that could cause an irregular heartbeat which can result in sudden death.
She noted that there was a risk of the drug being fatal every time it is taken. Ms Gannon observed that Mr Lacken had died from ‘acute cocaine toxicity’.
While postmortem results had shown the deceased had early signs of cardiac fibrosis and fatty liver disease, the coroner said they were not a factor in his death.
As there was no evidence to suggest Mr Lacken’s death was an intentional act, the coroner returned a verdict of death by misadventure.