Drug addict died after university course ‘distressed’ him, inquest told

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THE GIRLFRIEND of a drug addict who was concerned about her partner’s health after repeatedly ‘shooting-up’ had her fears confirmed when she found him dead the next day.

Matthew Cooper, 41, was found slumped on the floor in his Southsea home last December after taking a concoction of cocaine, heroin and alcohol.

Portsmouth Coroner’s Court heard the deceased had been a long term addict who struggled with depression and anxiety but had been trying to turn around his life. He had relapsed after struggling with a masters course in photography in London.

A needle and drugs apparatus were found in his Waverley Road address after his horrified girlfriend Alexandra Redmond discovered him.

Ms Redmond told police she had tried to deter Mr Cooper from taking drugs but he ignored her and proceeded to ‘shoot up like he had done it a million times before’.

‘He was drinking and doing cocaine before he started shooting-up. He would then fill up and do it again and again,’ Ms Redmond said. ‘I thought it was wrong and asked him to stop but despite this Matthew went and got more drugs.’

PC Paul Hills said: ‘After injecting Mr Cooper went limp and his eyes rolled into the back of his head which led to Ms Redmond calling the ambulance before she hung up the phone as he seemed ok when he started snoring. She checked on him through the night and in the morning and he was still snoring.’

Mr Cooper failed to respond to Ms Redmond’s calls and messages the following day before she went round to the flat and found him dead.

Pathologist Brett Lockyer said Mr Cooper had died suddenly of drug intolerance with cocaine and morphine found in his body.

Mr Cooper’s family said in a statement that he had relapsed.

‘Matthew was spiralling into disrepair after becoming distressed at the technical aspects of his course. He found the changes of going to university overwhelming but got little support from them,’ the statement read.

‘He returned to taking drugs due to the lack of support from the university. He had no pattern of prior use and it was not typical of him to snort cocaine and take heroin.

‘He was sensitive and fragile but a hugely talented person.’

Coroner David Horsley recorded a drug related death.