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Man died of drink and drugs overdose
9:40am Wednesday 20th March 2013 in Oxford
A PLASTERER living at a homeless hostel in Oxford died from a drug and alcohol overdose, an inquest heard.
Oxford Coroner’s Court heard Leslie Belcher, 51, died in his room at Lucy Faithfull House in Speedwell Street on October 31.
A report by consultant pathologist Dr Ben Phillips revealed Mr Belcher had a long history of alcohol dependency and opiate misuse.
Eva Den-Boer, a member of staff at the hostel, went to visit Mr Belcher in his room on October 31 as part of a regime of increased welfare checks four days after he was treated in hospital for a heroin overdose.
She found Mr Belcher lying fully clothed on his bed at about 6.35pm.
When she got no response she called colleagues for help and they tried to resuscitate him until paramedics arrived.
Police later found a syringe in the room and needle marks on Mr Belcher’s arm.
Dr Phillips said toxicology reports were in keeping with an overdose of heroin and alcohol and recorded the cause of death as a heroin and alcohol overdose.
Oxfordshire coroner Darren Salter said: “It is clear from Dr Phillips’ report that on their own, alcohol and heroin would not have resulted in death but the combined effect has resulted in death.”
Mr Salter told members of Mr Belcher’s family it was clear he was “much loved”.
He added: “He clearly struggled with problems and did not want to burden his family.”
He recorded a verdict that Mr Belcher died from abuse of drugs and alcohol.