A BLACKBIRD Leys man drowned in the River Thames after jumping in to escape hallucinations caused by drugs.

Kalem Edwards, 25, was spotted by concerned boat owners near Bossom's Boartyard in Port Meadow, Oxford, on August 31 last year talking to himself and holding an object later identified as a needle, Oxford Coroner’s Court heard at an inquest into his death yesterday.

Kingsley Pratt-Boyden called police after seeing Mr Edwards, who had been released from prison one week earlier, ‘acting weird’.

In a statement read out in court, he said: “He looked disturbed. He was saying ‘Get away from me’ and going around in circles.”

He added he heard a splash when Mr Edwards jumped into the water and that he seemed to be struggling before all he could see was bubbles.

A search and rescue effort by dozens of police, firefighters and paramedics recovered Mr Edwards, but he died at the scene at about 7.30pm.

A toxicology report revealed the Sandy Lane resident had taken a ‘significant quantity’ of cocaine and heroin which likely caused the psychotic episode.

Oxfordshire Assistant Coroner, Nicholas Graham, concluded Mr Edwards died due to a combination of drugs and drowning.

He said he was satisfied Mr Edwards had not intended to kill himself despite a history of mental health problems.

Tributes poured in for the father-of-two after his death. Jade Ball, mother to his daughter Destiny, said at : “Our daughter will never forget her daddy, you will always have a place in her heart.”