A “BRIGHT and friendly” man tragically died after taking drugs, an inquest heard.

Ben Goodburn died at his home address in Benfleet in July last year from a combination of the effects of drugs and bronchopneumonia.

The 20-year-old had recently returned from a family holiday in Italy, and had previously shown no symptoms of any chest infections.

An inquest into his death was held at Essex Coroner’s Court in Chelmsford yesterday.

At the hearing, coroner’s officer Kirsty Roberts said: “He had a medical history of anxiety and depressive disorder.

“He was known to mental health services.

“On the evening of the July 29 he complained of feeling unwell to his parents and went to bed.

“On July 30 his family found him unresponsive in his bed. Paramedics attended and sadly confirmed his death.

“A post-mortem examination was carried out on August 1 at Southend Hospital.

“A cause of death was given as 1A mixed drug toxicity and part two, acute bronchopneumonia.”

Traces of codeine, pregabalin and morphine were found in his system.

Mr Goodburn’s death was one of six previously investigated by Essex Police as linked, due to the close proximity and timeframe of when they happened in July.

Julie Gowen, Temporary Detective Chief Inspector who handled the case, told the court: “The major crime team took over to see if there were any links or correlations.

"However, there were no links established in the investigation.”

Speaking at the inquest, Mr Goodburn’s family said he was a “bright and friendly” man who had just completed an engineering course.

They stated that before the evening of July 29, he had shown no symptoms of any chest infections.

The family said: “We know that he didn’t intend to take his own life. We had things arranged, he definitely didn’t.”

Coroner Caroline Beasley-Murray recorded a conclusion that Mr Goodburn had died as a result of an accident, contributed to by natural causes.