A man who was falsely accused of the murder of his partner took his own life after becoming “desperately distraught”.

Keiron Robert Wallder was arrested following the death of Tara Stiles, his 33-year-old partner, on suspicion of her murder. He was later released on police bail, with an inquest earlier this year hearing she died following an accidental overdose.

The inquest into the death of the 25-year-old at Winchester Coroners’ Court heard that following his release, he told a social worker “he would kill himself with heroin”. On April 18, he was found unresponsive at his flat in Bridge Street, and later died at the Royal Hampshire Hospital in Winchester.

Paying tribute, his mother described him as “very caring” and with “a great sense of humour”, saying that “he’d do anything” for his friends.

The inquest into the death of Mr Wallder took place on May 11, with area coroner Jason Pegg presiding. The court heard from Keiron’s mother, Catherine, who said her son had turned his life around in the past couple of years.

“Keiron did have a few issues when he was growing up,” she said, “but the last year or so he did really, really well.”

She said he had “trouble holding down a job” following diagnoses of ADHD and Aspergers’ Syndrome, but that recently had completed a course with the Princes’ Trust, and was working on a farm. She added that he was in the process of getting a full time job, and was “really, really happy”.

“There was a massive change in him,” Catherine told the court. “He was doing really well.”

She added: “Unfortunately, Tara came back on the scene and it all went bad from there.”

Tara Stiles was a former partner, who he had met again around three weeks before his death in April 2020. They started spending time together, with Catherine called to the flat after Keiron “cut himself”, which she attributed to a row.

Subsequently, as previously reported, Ms Stiles was staying in Mr Wallder’s flat on Bridge Street on April 13 when they took a mixture of drugs. Subsequently, on April 14, she was found unresponsive by a friend, and was pronounced dead by paramedics.

Police arrested Mr Wallder on suspicion of murder, with Melanie Mullen, the manager of Bridge House in Andover, saying that he was “in a very bad way” following his release and told her that “he would kill himself with heroin.”

“He was very distraught on April 16,” she said, with Keiron being offered contact with the adult mental health team, but he refused this.

“He said he wanted to buy some heroin and ‘hopefully wouldn’t wake up’,” she said. However, he agreed to regular welfare checks from staff at Bridge House.

However, his mother said that she didn’t believe he would intentionally have tried to take his own life, and that she believed “he was probably trying to block out the pain.”

A school friend, Adam Jones, visited Keiron on April 16, and said he and Mr Wallder had taken heroin and oramorph (a strong morphine-based painkiller) that evening, and continued the following evening.

He said that Mr Wallder had wanted to inject heroin, but that he had convinced him to smoke it instead. “He seemed spaced out, fine” he said.

Keiron then fell asleep on the evening of April 17 on the sofa bed, as there were pictures of Ms Stiles nearby and “he wanted to be close to her”.

The following day, Mr Jones said Keiron was “breathing funny” but thought it best to let him sleep. Later, staff called an ambulance when he was found “unresponsive with no palpable pulse”, and he was taken to Winchester hospital.

His circulation was restored, but evidence of fluid in his lungs was found, and Mr Wallder remained “deeply comatose”. He had symptoms of an opioid overdose, including dilated pupils, and was put in intensive care. An attempt to bring him out of sedation of April 19 failed, while the fluid on his lungs continued to increase.

On April 20, the pressure in his brain rose, and specialists advised that an intervention would not be possible. He showed signs of brain death on April 20, and this was confirmed on April 21.

A post-mortem found the cause of death to be pneumonia, brought on by severe hypoxic brain injury and a cardiac arrest, which were brought on by the heroin overdose.

Summing up, the coroner said it was clear that Keiron was “desperately distraught at the loss of his partner, and was also arrested which would only have added to the stresses.”

He said that following the testimony he had heard, he was “satisfied it is more likely than not that when he consumed that significant quantity of heroin, on the background of not taking drugs in some time, he did intend the consequences.”

A verdict of suicide was declared.

Anyone who is struggling can call Samaritans for free on 116 123, or visit their website here to find other ways to get in touch: https://www.samaritans.org/how-we-can-help/contact-samaritan/