A WINCHESTER man with a long history of drug problems died in his sleep, an inquest heard.

Andrew Paul Craven, 52, was found by a friend at his home in Stanmore on January 9.

The hearing was told that Mr Craven, of Drummond Crescent, Stanmore had met his friend Kalib Lake in Hyde and was intoxicated.

In a statement Mr Lake said he helped Mr Craven to get home and then prepared some food. They had both gone to sleep but when Mr Lake awoke he found Mr Craven was dead.

He carried out CPR but to no avail. The police were called and Special Constable Christopher Alford said there were no suspicious circumstances.

Consultant pathologist Balvinder Singh Shoker conducted a post-mortem and discovered cause of death was multiple drugs.

Mr Craven's brother Darren Hancock told the hearing: "He was a very happy child with a heart of gold. he would have done anything for anyone.

"Andrew got mixed up with the wrong crowd in his mid to late teens. But he was artistic and got involved with amateur dramatic groups."

Mr Hancock, of Denham Fields, Fair Oak, said in his 20s Mr Craven had become addicted to heroin. "A lot of effort was put in to try to control his use of drugs to get Andrew through rehab and get him off such drugs. There were times he returned home to parents' home, not that long ago, and it appeared he was on a better road.

"There's a lot of talk about Andrew's history of drugs but that is only part of Andrew's life. It does not reflect Andrew for the person he was and the heart that he had."

Senior coroner Grahame Short ruled a verdict that he died of mixed drugs toxicity including prescription drugs. He said there was no evidence of a deliberate overdose. "It could be a case of someone whose body could no longer cope with the level of drugs he was taking."

Mr Short expressed his sympathy to the family. "I'm sure all the efforts were made to try to help Andrew must have been extremely frustrating and very sad to see the way Andrew ended up. I hope this inquest has helped to give you a better idea of what happened."