Man charged in London woman’s overdose death

A London police cruiser. (File photo by Miranda Chant, Blackburn News)

A Toronto man alleged to have sold a London woman heroin she later fatally overdosed on has been charged with manslaughter.

The charge was announced on Thursday, a year and a half after the woman’s death.

Emergency crews were called to a home in the area of Commissioners Road East and Adelaide Street South after the woman was found unresponsive around 5 a.m. on November 7, 2020. She was pronounced dead at the scene.

An autopsy determined the woman, whose name was not released, died from a heroin overdose.

The case was turned over to the London police major crime section. Through their investigation, detectives were able to identify a man they believe sold the woman the drugs.

Joshua Biernacki, 28, of Toronto has been charged with manslaughter and trafficking a schedule I substance. He was scheduled to appear in London court in relation to the charges on Thursday.

This is the second time in just over a month London police have charged an individual in connection with a fatal overdose. On May 10, Raed Ghanem, 35, of London was charged with manslaughter in the death of Neil Stephen Harvey, 39, of Ilderton. Harvey was found unresponsive in a parking lot on Exeter Road near Wellington Road on December 21, 2021. He was rushed to hospital where he later died. An autopsy confirmed he died from a fentanyl overdose. Police alleged Ghanem sold Harvey the drugs.