A NORTH Baddesley man with multiple sclerosis killed himself with a drugs overdose, an inquest heard.

Neil John Stratton, 42, lift maker, was found dead in a chair in his lounge at a house in Rownhams Road by his housemate and cousin, Wayne Smith.

Mr Smith called 999 but paramedics were unable to revive him on September 6 last year.

In a statement to the inquest, Mr Smith said Mr Stratton illness was progressive. He was largely confined to a wheelchair although was a familiar sight around the village walking his dog Marley in all weathers, "even snow".

PC Julie Densham was called to the house. She said there were no suspicious circumstances or evidence of third party involvement.

Dr Adnan Al-Badri, consultant pathologist at the Royal Hampshire County Hospital in Winchester, said cause of death was an overdose of painkillers prescribed for the MS. The levels in Mr Stratton's system was 35 times the lethal dose.

He said there was no evidence of suicidal thoughts or evidence of self-harm.

Assistant coroner David Reid recorded a verdict of suicide. He said the high levels meant that an accidental overdose was unlikely and that the death had been a deliberate act.

Mr Reid said the standard of proof for recording suicides had changed from the criminal 'beyond reasonable doubt' to the 'balance of probabilities'.

But Mr Reid said he would have recorded suicide with the previous 'beyond reasonable doubt'.