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Jason Burgess overdosed on prescription drugs before being found dead in woodland in Gravesend

A homeless man who was "in and out of prison" took his own life by overdosing on his prescription drugs.

Jason Burgess was found by the Kent Search and Rescue team in an area of woodland off the Warren in Gravesend, just before 8pm on Thursday, January 17.

An inquest into the death of Mr Burgess, who was born and lived in Gravesend, was held at the Archbishop's Palace in Maidstone today.

Jason Burgess was found dead in woodland near The Warren, Gravesend, on January 17
Jason Burgess was found dead in woodland near The Warren, Gravesend, on January 17

Coroner Roger Hatch concluded the 44-year-old, who suffered with depression, took his own life and died due to mixed drug toxicity.

Mr Burgess picked up his prescription of medication from a pharmacy at around midday on January 17.

It was the last time he was seen before being found dead later that day.

DS Newton, who helped co-ordinate the search, described how on the day of his death Mr Burgess messaged close friend Wesley Whittington to say: "Love you. Thanks for all you've done."

Mr Whittington tried to contact his friend, who had been discharged from hospital just a month before after taking an overdose, by calling him.

"He was a loving and loyal person..." - Mr Burgess' family

Mr Burgess answered one of his calls and told his friend that he was "tired and wanted to go to sleep".

DS Newton also added that Mr Burgess had called the police on the day, but was "incoherent". A large search operation was shortly launched after that.

The inquest heard how the deceased had a "difficult childhood" with his father dying at the age of two.

Mr Burgess was described by his family as "a loving and loyal person".

Read more: All the latest news from Gravesend

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