A YOUNG warehouse worker took a fatal overdose with a 'death row' drug he had ordered online.

Michael Longshaw took his own life in the home he shared with his father and step-mother in Carterton, aged just 23, while they were away in Barcelona.

At his inquest on Wednesday, Oxford Coroner’s Court heard how the couple were ‘shocked’ to receive the call about his death, and flew home the next day.

Mr Longshaw died on Thursday, May 16, after sending messages to his girlfriend at about 8pm, suggesting he had taken a substance.

  • Anyone struggling with mental health or having suicidal thoughts can seek help from charities such as the Samaritans - call 116 123

The drug that was named in court is illegal in the UK but is known to be among the substances used to execute prisoners in America's so-called death row.

Emergency service workers forced entry into the house in a bid to save Mr Longshaw, but it was too late.

After receiving 40 minutes of advanced life support, he was pronounced dead.

ALSO READ: Young psychologist hanged herself in 'tragic' suicide

The court heard how Oxford-born Mr Longshaw had previously ordered a drug from the USA online, but his parents had intercepted the parcel and spoken to him about what he intended to use it for, and urged him to seek mental health help.

In a statement read to the court, his father Richard Longshaw said a woman from the USA had got in touch with his wife, saying she was 'concerned at what she'd seen from Michael online' and feared for his safety.

She told her that he had ordered drugs online.

When they asked him about it, he 'didn't confirm or deny' it, the court heard.

His father's statement said: "During the past few months he had become lethargic and seemed low."

However, he added that his son seemed well when they left for Barcelona.

Mr Longshaw would have turned 24 tomorrow.

Police initially found no evidence of drug paraphernalia in his room, but his family later found a parcel from the USA while searching for paperwork, with empty packaging inside.

It was similar to the parcel they had found previously, back in 2018.

ALSO READ: Oxford man speaks out after suicide rise

An expert statement read at the inquest confirmed that it was the toxicity of the drug that proved to be fatal.

Concerns have been raised internationally about the availability of such lethal substances online.

Coroner Darren Salter said Mr Longshaw's GP notes referred to him having suicidal thoughts previously, and he was on antidepressants.

Although his parents and GP had encouraged him to get counselling, he had not.

Mr Salter said he there was evidence that the overdose was intentional, and recorded a verdict of suicide.

It was the second suicide of a young person, aged in their 20s, that the coroner has heard in as many weeks.

Although suicide rates in Oxfordshire are lower than the national average, between 2016 and 2018, the county still recorded 155 deaths by suicide.

There has been particular concern about the rising number of young people seeking mental health help.

Last month, a council report revealed that the rate of social, emotional and mental health needs of Oxfordshire pupils is 'increasing and above the national average'.

The report highlighted a 'significant increase in the number of young people referred for mental health services in Oxfordshire in recent years' but added: "It is possible that this is partly due to increased awareness and reduced stigma."

  • Anyone struggling with mental health or having suicidal thoughts can seek help from charities such as the Samaritans - call 116 123