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Mum found son dead in flat from overdose of legal highs and prescribed drugs

James Denslow, 35, of Beach Flats, Hythe, was found in his apartment by mother Margaret Newland on Saturday, October 17.

Mrs Newland had come to check on her son after not hearing from him for two days.

The inquest was held at Folkestone Magistrates' Court

The inquest was held at Folkestone Magistrates' Court

Giving evidence at the inquest at Folkestone Magistrates’ Court, Mrs Newland spoke of how her son began showing signs of mental illness in his 20s.

Towards the latter part of Mr Denslow’s life, he was having injections every fortnight to combat the symptoms, although these gave him side effects such as the shakes.

“The only thing that took them away were the legal highs, although I didn’t condone it. The injections were working and he was coming on wonderfully” - Mrs Newland

Mrs Newland said: “The only thing that took them away were the legal highs, although I didn’t condone it.

“The injections were working and he was coming on wonderfully.”

Miklos Perenyei, a pathologist who read out the findings from the post-mortem, showed amphetamine, a substance used in legal highs.

There was also a “small amount” of alcohol present.

Mr Perenyei said that the cocktail of drugs consumed by Mr Denslow, both the legal highs and prescribed medication, was fatal.

It was confirmed by his mother that he was compliant with his medication but if he had forgotten to take it, he would take a day’s dose in one hit.

On the Saturday morning Mrs Newland entered her son’s flat, to which she had a key, after attempting to reach him by phone. It was there she found his body.

A police investigation was launched after Mr Denslow’s death, with officers visiting outlets in Hastings in a bid to re-trace his steps.

Assistant coroner Christine Freedman said: “Although he had mental health problems for some years, he was being treated.

“He had the support of his mother very close by and was very fortunate to be supported by his family.

“He had never attempted suicide. We are left with the conclusion that he took more drugs than normal – this on top of the legal highs was the cause of his death.”

Mrs Freedman recorded a narrative verdict concluding it was a drug-related death.

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