A DENE Court man died after injecting a potent animal tranquiliser, an inquest has heard.

Winchester Coroner’s Court heard how Gavin Anthony Webb was found unconscious in his room at Dene Court on Wednesday, 19 April, after administering carfentanil.

The 39-year-old died at North Hampshire Hospital, Basingstoke, three days later.

Assessing the evidence surrounding Mr Webb’s death, assistant deputy coroner Sarah Whitby described seeing an increase in the number of deaths from carfentanil in recent years, a powerful analgesic used for tranquilising large animals, 10,000 times more potent than morphine.

PC Peter Scamell, giving evidence, told the inquest that police in Andover had been informedof anumberof incidents in the town involving the drug around the time of Mr Webb’s death.

He said:“I think there was only the one death but other people were affected. One other person had been [left] in a wheelchair [after taking the drug].”

Describing how paramedics called officers to Dene Court shortly before 1pm after another resident had found him unconscious, PC Scamell continued: “On arrival, Gavin Webb was outside his room in the hallway with ambulance staff who were working on him.

“In the room there was a syringe in the sink. There was a number of other drug paraphernalia on the bed and on the TV unit. It was paraphernalia for intravenous drug use.”

He confirmed that Mr Webb was last seen in the hallway at around 10.30 that morning and CCTV footage showed that he was alone in his room until he was found.

PC Scamell said: “There was nothing suspicious at all.

“I have known Gavin for quite a few years. I have spoken with him a few times, he was very pleasant and never caused me any trouble at all. He would always stop and speak to us.”

Mrs Whitby also considered written evidence submitted by Mr Webb’s GP detailing a long history of mental health issues and substance abuse with intermittent periods of being clean.

A post mortem report revealed no obvious cause of death while an accompanying toxicology report showed carfentanil in his system.

There were also traces of other prescription drugs that he took, along with traces of morphine.

Mrs Whitby invited Mr Webb’s parents to tell the inquest more about their son.

Mrs Webb said: “We tried to help him as much as we could and we saw him very regularly.

"He used to come for a meal every week and we often went to the cinema together and shopping together.

"I had seen him on the Monday, we had gone for a coffee and he said, ‘See you Friday’.”

Concluding the hearing, Mrs Whitby said: “I am going to conclude that on 19 April 2017, between 10.30am and 12.48pm, the deceased, Gavin Webb, injected himself with carfentanil at Dene Court.

"As a result of this the deceased slipped into respiratory depression and subsequently died at North Hampshire Hospital as a result of the use of carfentanil and it is therefore a drug-related death.”