A paranoid schizophrenic who was found collapsed in a hospital bathroom may have taken a fellow patient’s drugs, an inquest heard today.

Michael Lawson, who lived at Littlemore Hospital’s pre-discharge unit Lambourn House in Sandford Road, Oxford, had a long history of mental illness and had spent most of his adult life in and out of hospitals.

Oxford Coroner’s Court heard he had been on a range of prescription drugs but blood tests after his death, on December 8, 2007, found potentially fatal levels of anti-psychotic clozapine, a drug that Mr Lawson had never been prescribed.

At the inquest, charge nurse David Turnham said the aim of the unit was to prepare patients to return to society.

This involved building up levels of trust by allowing some patients to self-medicate and to leave the hospital.

But he said Mr Lawson had only been on the unit for two months and had to take his medication under supervision.

Fellow patient Adrian Holland told Mr Turnham later on the day Mr Lawson died he had shared his drugs with him.

The inquest was due to finish tomorrow.