A 45-YEAR-old man found slumped behind a Ross-on-Wye church died as a result of alcohol and drugs.

An inquest at Herefordshire Coroner's Court heard that Christian Morris was found by his friend, Andrew Marsh, behind Ross Baptist Church on September 23 last year.

Mr Marsh said he saw Mr Morris collapse and carried out chest compressions until an ambulance arrived.

He was taken to Hereford County Hospital but died two days later.

A toxicology test showed Mr Morris had 280mg of alcohol in his blood which the inquest heard "in a normal person would be marked by extreme drunkenness."

He also had a concentration of morphine in his blood which showed he had taken illicit heroin. The two together, along with other drugs in the system, may have led to respiratory depression.

There was also a trace of diazapam but the coroner, Mark Bricknell, said this was not at a significant level.

The inquest heard Mr Morris, who lived at Old Tannery Way, Ross, was dependent on alcohol and at times had tested positive for opiates.

His father, Raymond Morris, questioned why so many tablets of diazapam were prescribed to his son adding, "It seemed to me he was over-prescribed diazapam."

But Mr Bricknell said that only a trace of the drug was in his system when he died.

The coroner recorded that Mr Morris died from a cardiorespiratory arrest which caused hypoxic brain injury and he recorded that the respiratory arrest was secondary to drug intoxication.

He concluded his death was alcohol and drug related.

Mr Raymond Morris said they were surprised at the conclusion and said they were still concerned about how many tablets he was prescribed by the doctor. He added: "He got so depressed. Previous to that he was a genius."