A MAN with a long-standing history of drug abuse died of an overdose less than a week after being released from prison, an inquest heard.

Luke Thompson, 37, died while at the Emmaus community in Bar End Road, Winchester, on October 11 last year. He had just been released after serving a two-year sentence.

Pathologist Dr Adnan Al-Badri said while the levels of the drug were fatal, toxicology reports indicated it was taken for therapeutic use rather than an intended overdose.

Patricia Farminer, who works at Emmaus as deputy community leader, told the inquest in Winchester that Mr Thompson was a sweet man but that his short time at the community had been fraught with problems.

“He was a recovering substance user and saw coming to Emmaus as a way to improve his lifestyle,” she said. “We have community rules in place whereby we are alcohol and substance-free and persons found drinking and using are asked to leave immediately.”

In the days leading up to his death it was reported there had been several incidents which had led support workers to believe Mr Thompson had been using drugs again.

Assistant mid Hampshire coroner Sarah Whitby recorded a verdict of death by misadventure.