A SOUTHAMPTON tree surgeon died after his life “spiralled” out of control following an accident which left him unable to work.

Paul Allen turned to drugs and alcohol to cope with life after he cut his scrotum whilst working as a tree surgeon in 2012.

An inquest heard he visited his doctor in July last year saying his life “had spiralled downwards” since and he was drinking heavily.

The report from Dr Sam Lee, of Bitterne and Thornhill surgeries, heard that the 39-year-old wanted to reduce his drinking, but that his mood was low and was signed off work.

He had also been using heroin.

His father, John Allen, of Westwood Road, in Netley, that he last saw his son for Sunday lunch around two weeks before he was found dead at his flat, in Ellwood Avenue, Thornhill, on September 30.

Neighbours had complained of a bad smell and Mr Allen senior said he called the police who forced their way into the flat. It is believed Mr Allen died a fortnight before, the court heard.

Mr Allen senior said: “[When we last saw him] he was fine, a bit down, but other than that there was nothing out of the ordinary.

“He had gone several weeks without any money coming in. I knew that he used cannabis but anything harder than that he kept from me.”

Dr Jeffrey Theaker, consultant for University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust, said there was a “significant level” of methadone in Mr Allen's liver, as well as evidence of cocaine and cannabis use.

He also had bronchial pneumonia, which Dr Theaker said in conjunction with his drug use caused his death.

Senior coroner for central Hampshire Grahame Short said: “Paul was a single man who lived alone in a flat. He was tree surgeon but after the injury he said his life spiralled downwards and I cannot disagree with that statement.

“He turned to alcohol and drugs and became depressed. He had problems with lack of money.

“I am satisfied that this was not a deliberate act.”

He ruled a verdict of drug related death, in the context of natural illness.