A MAN who was found dead in his Longtown home unintentionally took a drug overdose, a coroner has said.

Christopher Watkins, 37, was found by his father on February 7 this year at his home address, a lodge within his father’s grounds in the Golden Valley.

An inquest into Mr Watkins’ death was held at Hereford Town Hall last week and heard Mr Watkins was known to be an alcoholic and a user of both legal and illegal drugs.

His GP, Dr David Milsom, said in written evidence that Mr Watkins had a history of intermittent drug use. He had also been diagnosed with hepatitis C and suffered back pain because of this.

Mr Watkins’ father, William Watkins, said his son’s problems with drugs and alcohol began when he was around 18 after he became involved with a bad group of friends.

After moving to the lodge, Mr Watkins said his son helped out at his stone quarry business and was the best of all the workmen.

He knew he was still taking drugs but not to what extent and he would travel to Hereford once a fortnight to buy them.

When his father last saw him, Mr Watkins said he was not feeling well and could not keep fluid down and could not take his prescribed drugs.

On February 7, Mr Watkins went to visit his son but found he had died.

In a written submission, he described his son as a 'wonderful character'.

"He loved his pets and kept dogs, cats, a donkey and a pony and never neglected his animals," he said. "He also loved gardening and growing vegetables.

"We are devastated by his death and are aware he died from a drug overdose but do not believe this was an intentional act.

"When he was not under the influence of drugs and alcohol he had support from me and my partner and his family."

Mark Jinks, of West Mercia Police, said there was an 'abundance' of medication on the premises. Police ruled out third part involvement.

A toxicology examination revealed morphine, benzodiazepines, cocaine, codeine, gabapentin and amitriptyline in his blood and pathologist, Dr Marnerides, gave a cause of death as multiple drug use.

Coroner for Herefordshire, Mark Bricknell, said the toxicology showed a significant amount of legal and illegal substances in Mr Watkins' body at the time of his death.

He said he was satisfied he had not taken an intentional overdose.

"I think that he was unwell and I think this may have caused complications with his tolerance and, bearing in mind his addiction and lifestyle, I think it is highly probable that he has intentionally consumed prescription and non prescription drugs to the extent he has caused himself to suffer an unintentional overdose," he said.

He recorded a conclusion of drug related death.