A PLUMBER thought to have died from a “toxic mix” of cocaine and heroin actually died from a sudden death, an inquest has ruled.

The body of Liam Dunleavy, 29, of Salcombe Gardens, was found in his flat by police on April 19 this year.

A pathologist initially said his cause of death was due to a “toxic mix” of cocaine and heroin – which has now been overturned following a two-day inquest.

Coroner Andrew Walker ruled today (November 11) that Mr Dunleavy had died a “sudden adult death” while taking prescription drugs, and having recently used cocaine.

North London Coroner’s Court heard Mr Dunleavy was on medication for a personality disorder and anxiety, and received treatment from the Barnet, Enfield and Haringey Mental Health Trust for two years.

Pathologist Dr Ashley Fegan-Earl told the court today people with mental health problems were more at risk of sudden death.

He also said there was “no drug free of side effects”.

Giving evidence yesterday (November 10), his friend said the pair had been drinking and smoking crack cocaine on Saturday, April 11.

His friend smoked heroin through the same pipe and did not clean it before Mr Dunleavy, who did not use heroin, smoked crack through it.

But he said the amount of heroin would not have been enough to cause his death.

Coroner Andrew Walker said their drug taking that night was not the cause of the death, as Mr Dunleavy had visited the Millway Medical Practice three days later.

The family of Mr Dunleavy told the court on Tuesday they thought the medication he was on had caused him to gain a lot of weight, and accused the mental health trust of “pumping him full of medication”.

In his summing up, Mr Walker said: “This is quite a complex picture. It would be inappropriate to record a drug -related death. My understanding is Mr Dunleavy used cocaine but not a lot. It was a recreational amount, not enough to cause his death.

“The presence of morphine is because he had used a crack pipe and as a consequence there was some contamination. But that is not suggesting that caused his death.”

He said the death was linked to the “use of other medication and recent use of cocaine”.

Mr Walker said: “It seems to me at least arguable his death could be recorded as natural causes.”

In a statement afterwards, the family of Mr Dunleavy said: “We are very unhappy with the level of care that Liam received from the Barnet complex care team.

“We feel that their lack of therapy and help offered to Liam, and the prescription rather than therapy, is a major contributing factor to his death. A psychiatrist’s job should be to offer a patient care, not unmanaged medication.

“We feel no attempt was made to get to the root cause of his personality problem. We feel they took the easy way out.”

In a statement, a spokesman for the Barnet, Enfield and Haringey Mental Health NHS Trust said: “We were extremely saddened to hear about the death of Liam Dunleavy, and extend our deepest condolences to his family.

"Mr Dunleavy was under the care of a number of organisations and together we were working towards his recovery. He was offered an appropriate range of treatments which were focused on his substance misuse problems, and his personality and social difficulties.

"We knew that Mr Dunleavy and his family sought additional psychological therapies, but in Mr Dunleavy’s circumstances clinicians believed these therapies would have been ineffective considering his heavy drinking and his lifestyle choices."

The spokesman added: "Mr Dunleavy was being encouraged to continue to work on his substance misuse problems and to engage with a psychological recovery programme in the community before individual therapy could be offered.

"The medications we recommended for the GP to prescribe were clinically appropriate for his condition and it is regrettable that their combination with substances of abuse may have contributed to his death.”