A FATHER-of-three who died in his home after taking almost three times the fatal dose of heroin died from non-dependent abuse of drugs, a coroner has ruled.
East Sussex coroner Alan Craze's verdict reflected Philip Berry's ex-wife's insistence that he had never had a heroin addiction.
She gave evidence at the inquest into the 56-year-old's death on July 27 last year.
Allison Berry told the inquest that Mr Berry, of Fountains Close, was an alcoholic.
He had previously been a residential social worker but was suspended from one job when caught drinking at work.
The couple lived at various addresses in Hailsham before moving to Eastbourne in 1991 and divorced in 1997 because she was concerned about the impact of his drinking binges on the children.
They remained friends.
She found he had been using crack cocaine when he was in hospital in 2002, but said she had never known of him using heroin before.
An inquest heard Mr Berry's body was found in his home, following an anonymous call to police.
A friend of Mr Berry's, Peter Richards, told police he had witnessed Mr Berry being injected with drugs by a friend.
Sussex Police are appealing for a Trevor Martin, 44, who was believed to have been a lodger with Mr Berry to come forward.
At the time of his death Mr Berry had alcohol, morphine, paracetamol, the painkiller noscapine, the beta-blocker propranolol and the antidepressant citalopram in his blood.
Pathologist Dr Andrew Rainey said the cause of death was an overdose of the street heroin and the citalopram.
Either alone could have killed him.