Cameron was pronounced dead after being found unresponsive at an address on June 18 2023

A heroic tree surgeon who was found dead six years after helping to send a crime gang boss to jail following a savage axe attack died with cocaine and five other drugs in his system, an inquest has heard.

Cameron Brooksbank, 24, known by his loved ones as Cam, was pronounced dead after being found unresponsive at an address in Middleton, Rochdale, Greater Manchester on June 18 last year.

His heroic role in jailing the gangster was the most compelling part of BBC’s true crime documentary The Detectives, which showed Greater Manchester Police finally triumphing over the drugs syndicate after Cameron bravely testified in two trials.

An inquest yesterday found a mix of prescription drugs and cocaine were in his system when he died – but a coroner concluded Cameron did not intend to take his own life.

His tragic death came six years after was the victim of a brutal axe attack that he said ‘completely changed his life’ and meant he was no longer ‘the same person’. 

At the time of the attack, Cameron was just a teenager working as a tree surgeon when he intervened in a road rage incident in Rochdale in 2017, where he was working.

He and his workmates came across gangster Habibur Rahman launching a furious tirade at an elderly woman sat in a stationary Citroen. 

Cameron was pronounced dead after being found unresponsive at an address on June 18 2023

Cameron was pronounced dead after being found unresponsive at an address on June 18 2023

But the attackers turned on him and he was struck by an axe in the armpit, and then on the wrist as he tried to shield his head from another blow, almost fully severing his hand. 

His hand was reattached during five gruelling surgeries in two years which gave him back just 60 per cent use of his arm. 

He then twice gave evidence in court against his attacker – high-ranking drug dealer Mohammed Awais Sajid – which led to him being jailed for 18 years.

Cam testified against drug dealer Mohammed Awais Sajid which saw him jailed for 18 years

Cam testified against drug dealer Mohammed Awais Sajid which saw him jailed for 18 years

 The gang raked in millions from the supply of heroin, crack and weed and its suspected leader Sajid Hussain laundered it through his kebab shop in the town. 

But the inquest at Rochdale Coroner’s Court heard Cameron was ‘devastated’ by the attack and ‘never’ got over it. 

The sickening attack took a devastating toll on Cameron, as shown on the BBC2 fly-on-the-wall show.

He appeared on the programme weeping as he admitted he’d been left ‘messed up’. 

He recalled at the time: ‘I woke up from the operation and thought everything like my career has gone down the drain.’

‘I had five operations and got depressed, and tried to do myself in a few times. I took an overdose and was rushed into hospital. I am not the same person as I was two years ago and I don’t think I ever will be.’

Cameron’s grandad Fred Higgin told the inquest how the attack had a ‘profound impact’ on his grandson’s life, adding: ‘He never got over the event, none of us did. He was devastated by that axe attack. He would never get himself back.’

Following the attack, Cameron began using cocaine to ‘self-medicate’ but his family thought he had stopped using the drug prior to his death, the inquest heard.

The hearing was also told Cameron took two overdoses prior to his death.

Giving evidence, his mum Claire said that before his death, he was prescribed a new antidepressant to help with his depression. 

The inquest heard a toxicology report found cocaine, oxycodone, pregabalin, diazepam, amitriptyline and mirtazapine in Cameron’s system and that all of the drugs were prescribed with the exception of cocaine.

Coroner Joanne Kearsley recorded Cameron’s cause of death as mixed drugs use (cocaine, oxycodone, pregabalin, diazepam, amitriptyline and mirtazapine) and Bronchopneumonia and concluded he died as a result of misadventure. 

She said there was ‘no evidence’ Cameron intended to end his life.

Following his death, a Greater Manchester Police spokesman told the Manchester Evening News: ‘Cameron’s immense bravery captured the nation’s heart and helped to bring justice criminals who were a serious risk to the community.

‘We will always remain grateful for his pivotal role in that case, and the support of his family during that time. Following Cameron’s inquest, our thoughts and condolences remain with his family and loved ones.’

Meanwhile, Cameron’s mother paid tribute to him as her ‘best friend’. 

She said: ‘The day he died was the day I died inside. He was and is loved by so many people. He had the biggest heart of gold and was so loving and caring, a true hero.

‘I am so exceptionally proud and it’s an honour to be his mum. Throughout these last few years since the axe attack it completely changed his life, but the strength and bravery he showed was outstanding.

‘No one knows what he went through that day [ the day of the attack] and the scars of it. It was horrendous everything he’s been through, it’s so sad. 

‘He was in constant agony. He suffered, it completely changed his life that attack.’

The horrific injuries caused during the unprovoked attack in Rochdale

The horrific injuries caused during the unprovoked attack in Rochdale 

 Cameron’s attacker Mohammed Awais Sajid, known as ‘Skinny’, of Kings Road, Rochdale was one of four men jailed for the axe attack in 2019. 

Sajid was jailed for 18 years after being found guilty of section 18 wounding. Last year he lost a bid to overturn his conviction.

Rahman, who summoned Sajid to the scene, was also handed a prison sentence of four-and-a-half years on an assault charge.

Rahman’s brother, Zillur Rahman, 29, was jailed for three years for conspiracy to commit violent disorder after he admitted making phone calls to summon the gang.

Arsan Ali, 23, who was among those he called and attended the scene, was jailed for four years after being found guilty of conspiracy to commit violent disorder.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You May Also Like

West Australian law clerk Kobe Langshaw dubbed 'Australia's Baby Reindeer' as she's banned for life from contacting two men she relentlessly stalked

A serial stalker whose actions had chilling parallels with the Martha character…

Fort Liberty Soldier Charged With Death of 8-Month-Old Daughter

A North Carolina soldier has been charged with murder more than a…

Sinister trend that left Melbourne tradie Chris Wall $14,000 out of pocket and losing work he needs to support his family

By Padraig Collins For Daily Mail Australia Published: 20:46 EDT, 23 May…

‘Fails at every turn’: Kagan goes after Alito for helping states use ‘race as a short-cut’ to suppress votes, says majority ‘lacks humility’

WASHINGTON, DC – MARCH 07: U.S. Supreme Court associate justices Samuel Alito…