Man, 39, found dead in his flat by worried family after they couldn’t get hold of him

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A 39-year-old man was found dead in his flat after his family couldn’t get hold of him, an inquest has heard.

Gareth Wynne Hooper was found dead in his flat, in High Street in Glynneath, on Saturday, January 4.

The inquest, held at Swansea Civic Centre on Thursday, heard Mr Hooper began drinking due to problems that had developed during a relationship with a work colleague while he was living in Pontyclun.

Mr Hooper attended counselling “a number of times” but also issued “a cry for help to end his life at one point”. He returned to briefly live at home in 2017 before moving into his own flat in Glynneath.

On Friday, January 3, Mr Hooper took his car out in the morning and drove it into a wall before mounting the kerb near his doctor’s surgery.

Mr Hooper was uninjured in the incident and, after being taken home, asked his father to take him back to the doctor’s surgery so he could pick up a prescription.

He returned to the surgery later that day where a pharmacist, believed to be the last person to see Mr Hooper alive, described him as being “competent and alert”.

Following the crash Mr Hooper’s family went to his flat and his father attempted to call him but they couldn’t get hold of him.

The inquest heard that “they were not too alarmed as he had a habit of disappearing”.

As Mr Hooper was still not answering phone calls a “locksmith friend” let his father into the flat where Mr Hooper was found dead.

Emergency services were called to the scene and South Wales Police concluded Mr Hooper’s death was “non-suspicious” and “unexplained”.


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A post-mortem examination showed Mr Hooper had atherosclerosis, a coronary artery disease which is a build up of plaque inside the artery walls.A toxicology report found levels of oxycodone (used for treatment of moderate to severe pain), pregabalin (used to treat epilepsy and anxiety), and alprazolam (used to treat anxiety and panic disorders).

Recording a conclusion of drug-related death, senior coroner for Swansea and Neath Port Talbot Colin Phillips said: “Mr Hooper died as a direct consequence of excessive ingestion of prescribed and non-prescribed drugs.

“He was a man who had a severe coronary heart disease which made him more susceptible to the drugs.

“He has died as a result of an unintentional drug overdose.”



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