A HOMELESS man who was found dead outside Boots in freezing cold temperatures had taken a lethal number of drugs including morphine and heroin substitute methadone.

At an inquest in Preston, it was heard that 39-year-old Andrew Davie’s body was found by a maintenance worker on the Townsmoor Retail Park, Blackburn, in the early hours of Saturday, November 24.

Toxicology reports showed that Mr Davie, who was believed to have been sleeping rough at the time, had high levels of morphine, methadone and tranquiliser diazepam, as well as cocaine, in his system, with the morphine levels in the range encountered in deaths.

Coroner Richard Taylor said that Mr Davie was a drug user and had been sporadically engaging with the drug and alcohol service, Inspire, since his release from prison around a year before.

A statement from Gary Haworth from Inspire, said: “He began his treatment with us in August 2018. His methadone prescription was continued as he had been receiving it in prison.

“He was considered to be at risk of opiate overdose and was offered overdose prevention advice which he refused, so his methadone was increased to try to stop him from any other illicit drug use.

“The last time he attended Inspire was on October 5 when he accepted he was still using heroin and cocaine, diazapam and pregabalin.”

Giving evidence at the inquest, Det Insp Rachel Higson said an extensive investigation had been carried out to try to piece together the final movements of Mr Davie, a busker well-known in Blackburn for playing a ukelele.

She said: “We know he had been staying at the Salvation Army for some time but had been evicted on the Monday before his death.

“He’d gone to hospital on the Wednesday after having an epileptic fit outside the Salvation Army, which was captured on CCTV. However he discharged himself, before going back the following day then discharging himself again.

“On the Friday he had been kicked out of Boots for shoplifting but had stayed in the area until his body was found the next morning.”

In summing up the inquest, Mr Taylor said: “It would seem to me that Mr Davie was a known drug user, but it may have been that his tolerance levels had reduced somewhat.

“He had taken drugs that he had taken in the past but due to this intolerance, sadly he passed away.”

Mr Taylor recorded a drug-related death conclusion.