A 64-year-old man with a significant and complex medical history, who had suffered from low moods, took a large number of drugs in order to end his own life.

At a hearing in Preston, Coroner James Newman told the inquest that Philip Willan, who lived on Mellor Lane, Mellor, had been found dead in his bed by his brother, Graham, on the morning of March 1.

Mr Newman said that alongside Mr Willan's body were several empty blister packs and evidence of a lot of medication including two empty bottles of morphine.

Mr Newman told the inquest: "There were also letters and a copy of his will left in the bedroom. The letters apologised for what he had done."

Toxicology results reported the presence of the painkillers, Tramadol and dihydrocodeine, as well as morphine and oxycodone, with the morphine dose in the range of that encountered in fatalities had it been taken alone.

The inquest heard that Mr Willan's medical conditions included sepsis, renal failure, heart failure and skin cancer, from which he suffered significant pain.

He had been prescribed morphine by his GP, and had also been taking oxycodone for a fractured sternum.

In a statement from Mr Willan's brother, he said: "I went to his house on the morning of March 1 as I was due to take him to hospital for treatment.

"When I arrived there was no answer so I let myself in with a spare key and found him lying on the bed unresponsive." Mr Newman said that Mr Willan believed his brother had taken his own life as he saw the empty bottles of morphine on the side, and he had recently made comments to their sister about wanting to end his life.

Mr Newman said: "Even though there's no doubt his medical conditions contributed somewhat towards his death, I record a conclusion of suicide and say that Mr Willan died from combined drug toxicity due to deliberately ingesting a large amount of prescribed medication."