A MAN died from having more than twice the fatal amount of a strong painkiller in his system, a coroner has ruled.

Robert Gordon Cannings, of Herdwick Road, Andover was found dead in his bed after his son became concerned for his welfare on Sunday, 24 September 2017.

Mr Cannings’ GP, Dr Hoole, told Winchester Coroner's Court on Tuesday Mr Cannings had a history of depression and was taking regular medication.

In September last year, the GP said Mr Cannings re-presented with depression described as an ‘insidious development since retirement’ due to a lack of social contact and having few outside interests.

However, the court was told Mr Cannings showed no thoughts of self-harm or suicide.

Mr Cannings’ son, Paul, said his father had moved to Andover from Reading for a ‘change of scenery’, adding his dad had isolated himself but struggled with being alone after retiring from his job as a heating engineer at AWE Aldermaston, Berkshire.

Paul Cannings said he last saw his father on 20 September when he visited him in Andover where they went to Wimpy together, four days before his father was found dead.

The son said his father seemed low and was not in a ‘good place’ but never made any mention of self harm.

Paul later tried to call him and left several voicemails but could not contact him.

He decided to visit his father at his home on Sunday, 24 September, but the door was locked, there was no response and neighbours had not seen Mr Cannings.

Paul called the police and PC Mark Wardle entered through a first floor window into the spare bedroom.

He found Mr Cannings dead in the main bedroom.

PC Wardell said Mr Cannings had been dead ‘for some time’ so he did not perform CPR.

He also found ten empty blister packs of tramadol that held ten capsules per packet in his room, plus an empty packet in the kitchen bin.

PC Wardle did not find any notes left by Mr Cannings but said it was not a suspicious death.

Pathologist Dr Hayley Burnley said Mr Cannings showed no external injuries.

Mr Cannings’ lungs had accumulated with fluid, consistent with tramadol overdose and small, white tablets were identified in his stomach contents.

A toxicology report showed Mr Cannings had a ‘fatal’ level of tramadol with raised levels of anti-depressant, venlafaxine.

Dr Burnley said tests revealed Mr Cannings had 31.5 microgrammes per litre of tramadol in his system, with senior coroner Grahame Short confirming that a 12 microgram level could be fatal.

In conclusion, Mr Short said: “The question in this case is whether Robert Cannings took the tablets deliberately intending to end his life and it may be that he took the tablets because of the pain or he wanted to go to sleep.”

Mr Short concluded it was a drugs-related death due to overdose between 2pm on 20 September and 3pm on 24 September.

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