A CHESHAM man died after an overdose of alcohol and medication drugs, an inquest heard today.

Steven Rayner was found dead in his bedroom in Lowndes Avenue by his father Stanley the day after he had spent the afternoon in a pub drinking.

The 47-year-old supermarket worker had gone out shopping in Hemel Hempstead on May 1. At lunchtime he said he was going to a supermarket to get something to eat but instead he went to the pub and did not return home until around 9.30pm.

His father said he “wasn’t drunk, but merry” when he came back.

When Mr Rayner’s father went to bed he went into his son’s room to turn off a radio. He had fallen out of bed and was partially blocking the door.

Mr Rayner senior told the inquest he saw packs of tablets lying around the room, but these were for medication that had been prescribed for him.

When he went to check on him again at about 10am the next day, he couldn’t hear him breathing.

At the time of the post mortem exam his blood-alcohol level was 122mg – around one and a half times the legal drink-drive limit – but coroner Richard Hulett said this would only provide a “snapshot” of the amount he had had to drink before going to bed.

Traces of fluoxetine and other anti-depressant drugs including temezepam were also found in his bloodstream.

Mr Hulett said: “When they are in combination they are more dangerous. It isn’t a case of two and two makes four, two and two makes five – they tend to emphasise each other. Someone will just stop breathing.”

Mr Hulett asked Mr Rayner senior if his son had ever talked about harming himself before. He replied: “He talked to his mother, and his mother told me.”

Summing up, the coroner said: “Quite why [he took the overdose] is obscure and we will never have any way of knowing.

“He’s taken too much of his medication – add that to the drink and chances are you will sleep deeply and stop breathing.”

But he added: “Whether he meant that to happen I don’t know. There’s no note.”

Mr Hulett recorded an open verdict.