A CORONER has issued a warning about buying sleeping pills online after the death of a Bolton man.

Police found Brian Charnock, aged 49, in Leverhulme Park in December.

He had hanged himself.

Bolton Deputy Coroner Alan Walsh accepted the cause of death was hanging and ruled Mr Charnock took his own life, but he acknowledged evidence that an overdose of tablets Mr Charnock had taken would have probably killed him anyway.

An inquest heard that Mr Charnock, of Raikes Way, Darcy Lever, had bought £400 worth of Zopiclone from a supplier in Hong Kong via the internet.

After his death, Mr Charnock was found to have 1.39mg of Zopiclone per litre of blood in his body — and 1mg per litre of blood was enough to kill, the coroner was told.

The inquest heard how Mr Charnock, who worked as a warehouse supervisor, had problems sleeping.

Zopiclone is a sleeping aid doctors prescribe for short periods as it can be addictive and cause anxiety and memory loss. When Mr Charnock sought help for depression last summer, his GP put him on a less addictive substitute.

But Mr Charnock’s sister Linda Charnock found he had bought Zopiclone online.

He did not remember crashing his car into a neighbour’s car or putting his car keys in the freezer, Ms Charnock told the hearing.

In the summer of 2010, Mr Charnock overdosed on paracetemol in Moses Gate Country Park. Staff from a food van went to his aid.

Mr Charnock’s family asked Mr Walsh if anything could be done to prevent the sale of Zopiclone online. He said: “The internet allows dangerous substances to be made available and some of these substances can kill.

“Anything that can be done to reduce the supply to those who are vulnerable, we should look at.”

A spokesman for The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency said: “Criminals who sell medicines or lifestyle drugs over the internet have absolutely no regard for your health.

Don’t take a chance buying medicines from illegal websites.”