A UNIVERSITY of Sussex consultancy manager who would “make his own crack cocaine” to use, died after taking a lethal mixture of heroin and other drugs, an inquest heard.

David Shaw was found dead in his flat in Buckingham Road, Brighton, by a friend he had previously been on “drug sessions” with, the inquest heard.

His friend Chris Godfrey said he grew concerned when the 39-year-old didn’t answer his calls as they were meant to meet that day.

The door to the flat was already open when Mr Godfrey entered shortly after 7pm on October 18 last year. He said he saw an unusually untidy flat, with cigarette butts in containers and a strange pink liquid in a number of glasses around the flat.

In a statement read to Brighton Coroner’s Court yesterday, Mr Godfrey said: “I walked into the living room and saw Dave there.

“Both of his arms were up in a stance as if he was trying to grab something. I didn’t see Dave’s phone anywhere.

“I saw his two crack pipes. They were both smashed up.

“I was in a shocked state and phoned 999 without tidying up.

“I think there is something not right about his death.

“He was a good friend of mine. I have known him for 17 years.”

Mr Godfrey said he saw two men he had never seen in the building before walking out of the main door to the block of flats as he arrived, before finding the door to Mr Shaw’s flat open.

He said that Mr Shaw, who had a degree in chemistry, preferred to make his own crack instead of buying it off street dealers and that he only knew of him taking heroin once or twice before.

Toxicology tests carried out after his death found a mixture of heroin, cocaine and prescription drugs, including a small amount of tramadol and benzodiazepine, in his system.

Detective Sergeant Julian Deans said that Mr Shaw seemed to be a “naïve user” of heroin, who had appeared to have snorted the drug.

He said: “The cracked crack pipes and cigarette butts suggest that someone else had been inside the flat.”

He told the court a man had been arrested and released under investigation following Mr Shaw’s death and that he suspected this person had been in the flat.

A pathologist found there were no signs of violence towards Mr Shaw.

Coroner Catherine Palmer recorded that his death was caused by heroin and mixed drug use, with a contributory factor of left ventricular fibrosis, the abnormal thickening of the heart’s valves.

Ms Palmer concluded that he died as a result of drug-related misadventure.

Police said later a 28-year-old man had been arrested in connection with the supply of heroin and released under investigation. The investigation is now closed with no further action taken.