A man soon to overdose on heroin was dragged out of a car and left for dead in a shopping centre car park, with the departing driver running over his foot, a coronial inquest has found.
The Coroners Court of Victoria inquest into the death of Christiaan Anthony Dubois was requested by his family after the 46-year-old was found dead at 6.15pm on October 15, 2017.
His body was found in the car park of Hampton Park Shopping Centre in Melbourne’s southeast by horrified passers-by, coroner Darren Bracken said in written findings published last month.
Mr Dubois’s companion, known only as AB in court documents, had pulled him out of the car and left him there about half an hour before his body was found.
An autopsy found Mr Dubois died of “mixed drug toxicity” with heroin, alcohol and diazepam the leading drugs.
CCTV footage from the Hampton Park Shopping Centre shows a white ute parking about 5.30pm.
Eleven minutes later, Mr Bracken said, the footage captures the driver “taking an apparently unconscious Mr Dubois from the vehicle and laying him on the ground immediately outside the passenger’s side door”.
Mr Bracken said the evidence suggested it was “likely” AB also went through Mr Dubois’s wallet.
He then reversed out of the car park and drove away.
Mr Dubois’s sister, Denise Cranston, told the court Mr Dubois had a “hate for heroin users” and used other drugs but not heroin.
“We’d talk about anything and everything,” she said.
A toxicologist report showed he had used heroin and speed in the past five months, Mr Bracken said.
The driver of the car told police he hadn’t met Mr Dubois before he was approached in the Hampton Park Tavern earlier that day while at the poker machines.
“Mr Dubois asked him if he could get any ice — AB told Mr Dubois he could not, but that he could get heroin,” Mr Bracken said.
AB told police they each shot up a quarter of a gram of heroin in the car, and Mr Dubois was “rambling” and began “settling in”.
He didn’t want him to fall asleep in the car so he “put him on the ground as comfortably as he could” and didn’t realise he drove over his foot, he told police.
The coroner found Mr Dubois “willingly” used heroin and his death was an unintended consequence.