A FORMER soldier died after taking a toxic combination of prescription and recreational drugs and alcohol.

Liam Davies had been to out with a friend on Friday, July 14 before returning to his home in Ferryhill.

He was discovered dead on the sofa downstairs the next morning.

An inquest held in Crook on Friday heard that the 24-year-old had served with the Army but left three years earlier because of an ankle injury.

Detective Sergeant John Hoar told the hearing there was no suggestion of third party involvement in the death.

He said Mr Davies was thought to have been a casual drugs user and he had prescription drugs, some prescribed and some not, in his bedroom.

A post-mortem examination found Mr Davies died of drug toxicity, and that whilst not in excessive doses the combination of substances along with alcohol was sufficient to cause death.

His friend Craig McCormack told police that he had never known Mr Davies to take illegal drugs and they had had around six pints in The Wheatsheaf, Ferryhill, the night before his death.

Mr Davies' father Nigel had told the coroner his son had received 'a bloody nose' during an incident three weeks prior to his death but no evidence was found to suggest any injuries had contributed to his passing.

Coroner Jeremy Chipperfield concluded Mr Davies died a drug-related death.