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
12:34pm Sunday 26th April 2015
A MAN was punched after being forced to hand over his phone and cash to man on Wood Farm Road, police said.
UPDATE: Mayfair Road man appears in court on Barton murder charge as alleged victim is named as Wojciech Ryniak
11:04am Saturday 25th April 2015
A MAN has today appeared in court charged with murder after a man was found with chest injuries in Barton late on Tuesday night.
9:04am Saturday 25th April 2015
ONE man’s mission to get 200 more public defibrillators across Oxfordshire has smashed its target thanks to the Oxford Mail.
1:56pm Saturday 25th April 2015
A MAN has today appeared in court charged with conspiracy to commit robbery and possession of a stun gun after an incident in Mayfair Road on Tuesday evening.
12:00pm Saturday 25th April 2015
WILD boar have been spotted in parts of Oxfordshire.
8:57am Saturday 25th April 2015
A CONSERVATION group has said historically important sections of The Randolph Hotel were left largely unscathed by last week’s major fire.