A “CARING and sensitive” man who “lost his way” after one partner committed suicide and another died after she was hit by a bus died as a result of drug-related cause, a coroner concluded.

Wayne Andrew Skene, aged 33, had a long history of drug and alcohol abuse following the death of his partner in 2006.

His inquest on Thursday heard he felt he was to blame for the death of girlfriend Kelly Marie Evis, despite not being present when she was hit by a bus on Stockton High Street in 2014.

Mr Skene, of Bowesfield Lane, Stockton, was believed to have been taking very strong sleeping drug Zopiclone when he fell asleep at a friend’s house on February 9 this year. When his friend couldn’t wake him several hours later he was taken by ambulance to the University Hospital of North Tees in Stockton.

There he was found to have blood poisoning, probably caused by injecting drugs, and serious heart problems. Mr Skene, who was on anti-depressants and had a history of self-harming after his first partner died in 2006, was kept alive via a ventilator but never regained consciousness and died on February 22.

A statement from his mother, Elaine Skene, read at the Middlesbrough inquest, said: “Wayne was a caring and sensitive man who got lost along the way. He had a few personal tragedies. When his girlfriend died after being hit by a bus he felt he was to blame."

"He always said that he was going to have a fresh start and even move away and start again. But he never did. If he had it might have been different.”

Acting senior coroner, Clare Bailey, concluded that Mr Skene died of drug related causes.