A PRISON doctor has offered her condolences to the family of a drug addict who died while in custody at a North-East jail.

Giving evidence at the inquest of Kevin Raynor, Dr Regan Wooding who worked at Durham Prison at the time of his death, said losing a loved one is always a tragedy.

She was speaking on the second day of the inquest being held in Crook, County Durham, by coroner Andrew Tweddle.

The inquest had previously heard that the 39-year-old died on September 8 in 2011 while on the prison’s Delta Wing awaiting a court date.

The inquest was told a mixture of medication he was taking for drug and alcohol withdrawal probably contributed.

And on the second day of his inquest, forensic pathologist Dr Peter Nigel Cooper, who conducted the post-mortem, confirmed the drugs were the cause of his death.

The inquest heard Mr Raynor took chlordiazepoxide to help him combat alcohol abuse and methadone to help tackle a heroin habit.

Dr Wooding prescribed the drugs to Mr Raynor after he showed symptoms of drug withdrawal.

The doctor, who no longer works at the prison, said: “There is always a risk of doing something or nothing when treating people with drug problems.

“They do not always tell you what they are doing themselves.

“If I did not increase [the dosage] fairly quickly there was a risk he would try and take other people’s methadone on the wing or try other things as well.

“He was very uncomfortable and unwilling to wait.”

Dr Cooper said the levels of methadone in Mr Raynor’s system would be dangerous to someone who has never used the drug before but would be safe for a regular user.

The inquest continues.