A CORONER has highlighted the dangers associated with drug-taking following the death of a father.

At an inquest into the death of Gary Smith, deputy coroner Alan Walsh said he hoped the 36-year-old’s death could “serve as a warning to anybody who dabbles in these substances”.

Mr Smith’s death left his two young children orphaned as their mother had died four years earlier.

He died after taking heroin and methadone although he was not prescribed methadone, the inquest heard.

As Mr Smith was not prescribed methadone, the toxic impact of taking this, with the heroin, could well have been greater, the court was told. He was last seen on Thursday, September 20, by a friend.

On Monday, September 24, concerned friends, who were unable to make contact with him, broke into his home in Grosvenor Street, Kearsley, where they discovered him dead on the bed.

Simon Jolly, of Broadgreen Gardens, Farnworth, who found Mr Smith, said he knew he took drugs, but had never seen him take them and did not know what he took.

Although Mr Smith had been upset about being denied access to his two children, his father, Russell Smith, of Lupin Avenue, Farnworth, said his son had appeared his normal self the last time he saw him.

The inquest heard Mr Smith had been offered help for his drug problem, but had not accessed this.

Pathologist, Dr Emil Salmo, said traces of various tablets had been discovered in Mr Smith’s blood, but it was the heroin and methadone combination that had killed him. Mr Smith would, he said, have died in his sleep.

Mr Walsh said he was saddened to learn that Mr Smith’s death would leave his two children without a father or a mother and recorded a verdict that he died “as a consequence of methadone and heroin”, saying he could find no evidence that Mr Smith intended to die.