Stressed medical student died after taking heroin overdose

Oxfordshire Coroner's Court

Oxfordshire Coroner's Court

First published in News

A POSTGRADUATE medical student died from a heroin overdose after he turned to the drug to cope with the stress of his studies, a coroner heard yesterday.

Paul Robertson was conducting pioneering research into Parkinson’s Disease and was just months from being awarded his doctorate when he was found dead at his home in Oxford.

The 26-year-old, who was on a scholarship at Christ Church, suffered from severe anxiety and insomnia due to pressure he put on himself to succeed, an inquest heard.

His girlfriend, Sophie Bocksberger, discovered him slumped in a chair in the bedroom of his Cripley Road flat at 7.30pm, on May 18.

A statement read on her behalf said rigor mortis had set in and there was a used syringe in the academic’s right arm, with a spoon and other drug equipment nearby.

She said: “He placed a lot of pressure on himself and he was something of a perfectionist.

“He had high expectations of himself.”

Miss Bocksberger said she was aware her boyfriend had started using heroin in August last year, but he was not an addict who took the drug every day.

A post mortem examination toxicology test revealed a “very high” morphine level of 1,006mg per litre of blood – almost three times the recognised fatal level.

Alison Thompson, assistant coroner for Oxfordshire, recorded a verdict of a drug related death.

She said: “There is absolutely no suggestion he intended to harm himself. This was clearly an unintended outcome.”

  • Do you want alerts delivered straight to your phone via our WhatsApp service? Text NEWS or SPORT or NEWS AND SPORT, depending on which services you want, and your full name to 07767 417704. Save our number into your phone’s contacts as Oxford Mail WhatsApp and ensure you have WhatsApp installed

Our top stories

Three women sentenced for running a brothel in Jericho

Oxford Mail:

9:00am Wednesday 22nd October 2014

THREE women who ran an ‘efficient and professional’ brothel in an upmarket Oxford street were sentenced yesterday.

Oxford city centre bank card skimmer is jailed

Oxford Mail: Oxford Crown Court

8:06pm Wednesday 22nd October 2014

A FRAUDSTER who used a card skimming device at a cash machine to steal money from a woman’s bank account has been jailed.

Britain's 'longest serving' Scout, Reg Hayes, has died aged 99

Oxford Mail: Reg Hayes

1:17pm Wednesday 22nd October 2014

REG Hayes, Britain's longest serving Scout has died.

Woman accused of Abingdon murder expected to stand trial in April

Oxford Mail:

11:04am Wednesday 22nd October 2014

A WOMAN accused of stabbing a man on an Abingdon tow path has appeared in Oxford Crown Court.

Oxford University staff vote to strike

Oxford Mail: Oxford Univesity logo white lettering blue background new logo

9:10am Wednesday 22nd October 2014

Academic staff at Oxford University and Ruskin College have voted for industrial action in a row over changes to pensions.

Frideswide Square redevelopment designs approved

Oxford Mail: oxfordshire county council logo round

9:10am Wednesday 22nd October 2014

Designs for the redevelopment of Frideswide Square in Oxford were approved yesterday.

 

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree