An Abingdon man died after taking methadone, an inquest heard.

David Dickinson, 47, was found unresponsive by his mother in the garden of the house they shared in Norris Close.

At an inquest yesterday, assistant coroner for Oxfordshire Nicholas Graham recorded a conclusion of drug related death.

A toxicology report showed there was methadone in his system. Mr Dickinson’s brother, who was prescribed the medicine, discovered that 35ml of methadone was missing from a 70ml bottle he had placed in a box in his bedroom.

In a statement prepared for the coroner, Mr Dickinson’s mother, Joy, described her son as a generally happy person who loved the family dog, had a keen interest in fitness, trained daily with weights and was proud of his physique.

He was said to have struggled with his mental health, for which he was medicated. The night before his death he was said to have taken a strip of the tablets. He was last seen outside in the garden after midnight on November 1 last year.

Mr Dickinson was found in the garden by his mother later that morning. Paramedics were called to the house but were unable to resuscitate him.

“As you said, he was happy, content, perhaps not as conscious with the taking of his medication as perhaps he should have been,” assistant coroner Mr Graham told Mr Dickinson’s family. He added that there was no suggestion that Mr Dickinson took a deliberate overdose.

Two months before his death, following a meeting between NHS mental health services and his GP, responsibility for his care was “effectively handed over to the GP”, the assistant coroner said.

The inquest heard that the Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust had since compiled a report making a number of recommendations on how care plans were delivered.

The Samaritans can be contacted on 116 123 or by emailing

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