A MAN lay dead for more than eight hours after his finder failed to call an ambulance, an inquest heard this week.

Robert Tracey Sissons, 40, was confirmed deceased by paramedics at his flat in St James, Hereford, at 8pm on December 8 2017, after police were called to a report of an incident at the address.

His inquest heard that Mr Sissons had an extensive history of drug abuse and self-harm and had been intermittently accessing addiction support services, but kept company with people who encouraged his addiction.

Ross Richards, who had been living with Mr Sissons for some weeks in De Lacy Court, said he had found the body when he woke up at around 11am after the pair had taken drugs together the previous day.

Instead of calling 999, Mr Richards said he panicked and headed to his sister and her partner's house, where he told them both that Mr Sissons had died.

However, it was not until 7.58pm that police were called.

A toxicology report revealed that Mr Sissons' blood contained a mixture of cocaine, heroin and benzodiazepines in potentially lethal doses.

But police said that they could not be certain as to whether or not there was a third party involved in his death as, following a spinal injury in 1999, Mr Sissons suffered from severely reduced movement in his hands and had on several occasions informed hospital and Addaction staff that friends would inject him with drugs on request.

Mr Richards, who was arrested on suspicion of being involved in the death but was later released, told the inquest that he had not injected Mr Sissons with drugs on the day of his death and that he could not remember whether or not Mr Sissons had injected himself with drugs that night.

Coroner Mark Bricknell concluded that the death was a result of multi-drug toxicity following an accidental overdose and that whilst it could not be certain that Mr Sissons had injected the drugs himself, it was unlikely that he had been injected against his will.

He recorded a conclusion of a drug related death.