Sidbury man’s overdose ruled accidental

County Hall in Exeter.

County Hall in Exeter. - Credit: Archant

A coroner has concluded that the death of a Sidbury man who overdosed on painkillers was an accident.

Robert Clinton disclosed to paramedics that he had taken a large number of paracetamol tablets after he accidentally fell down the stairs at his Hillside home on June 14, 2016, an inquest heard.

He was admitted to the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital (RD&E) but, despite the staff’s efforts, he died two days later, aged 41, after suffering multiple organ failure.

At the inquest at County Hall on Monday, assistant coroner Lydia Brown said Mr Clinton had epilepsy and spina bifida, meaning he lived with his mother and did not work, and more recently he had been diagnosed with diabetes.

A report from his GP said he had been treated for anxiety and depression after the death of his father two years ago, which he had been unable to get over.

The inquest heard that although Mr Clinton had expressed suicidal thoughts, he had no history of self-harm.

In a written statement, his sister, Sharon Hyde, said his epilepsy stopped him doing some things and he was ‘quite an innocent person’, but he went to the village club and helped with the Sid Vale Carnival Club.

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The inquest heard Mr Clinton had visited the village club on June 13 and others there said he had been his usual self. The next morning, his mother found him at the bottom of the stairs, which they had both fallen down in the past. He suffered no significant injuries in the fall, the inquest heard.

Paramedics attended and Mr Clinton was lucid, but it was only when he was in the ambulance that he admitted he had taken a large quantity of paracetamol tablets.

The inquest heard he was vague about when he had taken the pills and the number.

Dr Christopher Day, who treated Mr Clinton at the RD&E, said toxicology reports confirmed the paracetamol overdose and he was treated for renal and liver failure.

Mr Clinton died on June 16.

Assistant coroner Mrs Brown said there was insufficient evidence to suggest Mr Clinton intended to take his own life. She recorded a conclusion of accidental death.