A MAN died after taking a fatal amount of anti-psychotic medication, a coroner has ruled.

At an inquest, held in North Shields last Thursday, a court heard how George French, of Bewick Lane, Ovingham, was found dead near Whittle Dene on July 12.

South Northumberland Coroner, Eric Armstrong said he was discovered by a dog walker lying in a field. Paramedics arrived at 8.50am, but he was pronounced dead at 8.54am.

Described as a lover of art, nature and walking, Mr Armstrong said it is believed Mr French sat down to admire the view on his rug whilst on a walk and died soon after.

The 70-year-old, who owned a chalet in the woods near Whittle Dene, was last seen alive on July 8 when he went to buy a newspaper from the Londis newsagents in Ovingham.

The inquest heard he was a regular user of cannabis, and he had some other medication on him at the time of death. 

A post mortem examination found that the levels of prescription medication in the blood registered at two to three times the prescribed amount. Mr French was also found to be suffering from an obstructive lung disease.

Mr Armstrong said it is possible that a large dose of the medication was taken near to the time of death, and that the level in the blood was in the range associated with fatality.

The inquest heard he had suffered from acute mental health problems in the past.

Recording an open conclusion, Mr Armstrong said: “His anger and voices seemed to have taken over him. I am not satisfied that he had intended to take his own life. I cannot be satisfied with all the evidence available to make a decision.”