Father-of-four died of 'accidental overdose' in Epsom
A "kind and caring" father-of-four who was found dead in bushes with a plastic bag in his mouth accidentally overdosed on cocaine, an inquest has heard.
Daniel Hughes, 34, from Norbury, was discovered in the undergrowth beside Epsom Road, in Ewell, on June 1 last year.
Woking Coroner’s Court, sitting on Monday, heard the electrician had been hospitalised following a cocaine overdose at the end of March last year and had subsequently decided to stay clean of drugs.
Sutton-born Mr Hughes had started a new job at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital, in Fulham, at the end of May and this influx of cash may have jeopardised his attempt to avoid drugs.
The court heard that on the evening of June 1, he called his wife to say he was drinking with a colleague, and although he sounded drunk he denied he had taken drugs.
Within hours Elliot Jennison, a Stoneleigh resident, discovered Mr Hughes’ body after he crossed Epsom Road, at the junction of Shaw Close.
Detective Constable Colin Snell confirmed Mr Hughes was found with the remains of a plastic bag in his mouth, which may have contained cocaine.
He said: "Cocaine can be kept in a cling-film wrap and put in the mouth by users to avoid them being stopped and searched.
"There is no reason to believe any third person was involved in Mr Hughes’ death."
Dr Robert Chapman, a pathologist, said he found high levels of cocaine in his blood and urine but no evidence of the drug being injected intravenously.
Coroner Michael Burgess said: "He had no intention of hurting himself, to the extent of dying, as a result of taking this drug.
"Whether the bag ruptured in his mouth or he had taken it some way orally is unclear, but it is sufficient to base a conclusion that the overdose was accidental."
Speaking after the inquest, Mr Hughes’ mother Moira Hughes said: "He was a very kind and caring son and he died needlessly.
"I feel very angry about the person who supplied him the drugs.
"He was a wonderful father. Drugs do terrible things."