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Coroner: 'Robocop' OD'd on heroin

Aug. 7, 2009 at 5:45 PM

LONDON, Aug. 7 (UPI) -- A coroner has concluded that a London police officer famous for chasing drug dealers died of a massive heroin overdose.

The St. Pancras Coroner's Court was told Thursday that David Pilling, 47, had a high level of heroin in his blood at the time of his death as well as traces of cocaine and ecstasy, The Sun reported. The coroner, who found Pilling was not a heroin addict, issued a verdict of "death by misadventure."

Pilling, a police constable, was found dead in his apartment in March. Investigators discovered he had been looking for information on how to use drugs on the Internet before his death.

A native of Canada, Pilling gained a reputation for his dramatic pursuit of drug dealers during his years with London's Metropolitan Police. Exploits like riding his motorcycle down a flight of steps while chasing a suspect earned him the nickname "Robocop."

"The whole thing has been a complete shock to everyone. This came out of the blue," said Detective Inspector Paul Clack, a colleague in North London. "There was no major incident in his life that might have prompted this"

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