Former Chesterfield infantryman died after drugs battle

Chesterfield coroners' court.
Chesterfield coroners' court.

A former infantryman with the British Army died after a battle with drugs, an inquest heard.

Gareth Edwards was found dead at his house on Hilltop Road, New Whittington, on December 19, 2014.

Police forced entry into the 36-year-old's property after a neighbour raised concerns about his safety.

Mr Edwards - who served Queen and country for almost seven years - had a history of intravenous drug use, Chesterfield coroners' court heard today.

He was taking methadone, a substitute for heroin, as part of a rehabilitation programme before he passed away.

Post-mortem tests revealed Mr Edwards - who worked as a store assistant at Tesco in Sheffield after leaving the army - died of heroin and methadone consumption.

Pathologist Dr Deirdre McKenna said: "Combined together they caused a depressive effect on his brain."

Recording a conclusion of accidental death, coroner James Newman said: "Mr Edwards was a hard-working man who was close to his family.

"He had his demons and tragically he became involved in the misuse of drugs.

"He fought against it successfully at times but then started using again."

For confidential drugs advice, call support group Frank on 0800 776 600.