A ‘loveable father and grandfather’ who had been getting help for his drug problems died after taking too much methadone.

At an inquest in Burnley, coroner Mark Williams told the hearing how Darren Storey, 51, had been found in the house he shared with his brother Stephen, on September 9 2021.

Reading a statement from Stephen, Mr Williams said both he and Darren had a long history of heroin abuse which began some 25 years ago after their father had died.

They shared a house in Clifford Street, Colne, and were both being treated with heroin substitute, methadone.

It was heard that Darren had recently won an appeal for a personal independence payment and he and Stephen had visited TK Maxx on September 8 to purchase some clothes, but then returned home, before Darren headed to his sister, Lynsey’s house.

Mr Williams said: “He came back a short time later and chilled out smoking cannabis with his brother.

“Stephen said Darren then disappeared into the bathroom for some time, but this was not unusual and he then came out and asked if he could borrow some of his methadone as he had run out.

“Stephen gave him 30ml and noticed that there was a full bottle of methadone in the cupboard where he kept his medication.”

It was heard that Darren went to sleep around 11.30pm with Stephen falling asleep around 4.30am.

Mr Williams told the inquest that Stephen then woke just before 7am and called to his brother to try to wake him up but he did not respond and had blood coming from his nose.

A call to the emergency services was made but shortly after paramedics arrived, Darren was pronounced dead, and an almost empty bottle of methadone was later found in the cupboard.

Mr Williams said Darren had been engaging with drug service Inspire for some years, with staff there having no qualms about his risk of overdosing, although they would have preferred him to reduce his cannabis intake.

A post-mortem was carried out and tests revealed that the concentration of methadone found in Darren’s system was in the fatal range. There was also the tranquiliser diazepam found too.

Mr Williams offered a cause of death as methadone poisoining and said: “Darren died at home having consumed a quantity of methadone and diazepam and I offer a conclusion of drug related death.”

Following the inquest, Darren’s sister, Lynsey, said he was a ‘loveable person who was full of joy, was well loved and had a lot of friends.

She said: “He was just getting to know his son better and also his grandchildren and had a lot to look forward to.”