AN inquest into the death of a man at the Golden Lion in Corbridge has recorded a verdict of misadventure after lethal levels of codeine were found in his system.

Jack Bell (26) of Aydon Road, Corbridge, was found dead in one of the pub’s guest rooms on the morning of Friday, March 16.

The inquest heard that Mr Bell was very active and physically fit, and occasionally kickboxed as a hobby.

Witness statements from Mr Bell’s family said that he had been feeling unwell the day before, complaining of a temperature and itchy skin.

He spent much of the day before his death at with a friend who lived at the Golden Lion, watching television.

Mr Bell’s friend told police investigating the death that they had noticed him take pills from a blister pack and when questioned, he said it was prescribed codeine.

Mr Bell stayed at the Golden Lion that night and was reported to be snoring loudly during the night.

However, the inquest heard that by the next morning, he was unresponsive.

The emergency services were called and CPR was performed, but Mr Bell was pronounced dead at the scene.

A post mortem concluded that the cause of death was bronchial pneumonia and codeine toxicology.

The pneumonia was likely to have been brought about by an overdose of codeine coupled with an existing virus.

The inquest was told that Mr Bell had been diagnosed with depression, suffering from low moods from time to time, and he was on prescribed medication for the condition.

However, coroner Eric Armstrong said: “I do not believe that this young man took an overdose in an attempt to take his own life.

“He was a young man who took unkindly to being ill and took an overdose.

“Therefore I will record a conclusion of misadventure. Taking any drug, from aspirin upwards, can be deadly.”