A FATHER died from a heart attack after taking cocaine.

Paul Martin had gone to the shops in East Grinstead but collapsed on his way home.

The 50-year-old father of three was taken to the Royal Sussex County Hospital in Brighton but doctors were unable to save him.

This week, an inquest into Mr Martin’s death was held by Coroner Veronica Hamilton-Deeley in Brighton.

She ruled he had died a “drug-related death” after taking the class A substance.

Pathologist Dr Catherine Guy performed a post-mortem examination after Mr Martin’s death in August this year.

She found his death was directly related to cocaine use, as he had an enlarged heart.

Dr Guy noted that the risk of heart attacks is significantly higher for anyone who takes cocaine.

The doctor noted: “This is not related to how much is taken or how often. Cocaine increases the heart rate, blood pressure, and strength of the heart beat.

“More oxygen is then needed for the heart to function, which can lead to blood clots, which again makes it more likely for arteries to be blocked.”

Her warning follows the warning of Detective Sergeant Mark Pinder, who said there are high risks of death when taking cocaine.

Earlier this month the detective said: “In the last two years the cocaine market in Brighton has changed.

“The purity levels are significantly higher and more deadly.

“Before two years ago, we rarely had cocaine-related deaths, but since October 2018 there have been at least four deaths where the main or only drug that has caused the death is cocaine.”

At a previous inquest into the death of a mother in her thirties Ms Hamilton-Deeley said taking cocaine is “like playing Russian roulette”.

She said: “It is an easy thing to say not to do it, but stopping is easier said than done.

“Cocaine is cardio-toxic. Any time you take it you are more likely to produce an arrhythmia which could kill you.

“It is best not to take it... but that advice is ignored by millions every day.”

At Mr Martin’s inquest it was revealed that he had lived at Dorset Gardens, East Grinstead, with friends.

Friends told paramedics he had taken cocaine and was a regular user.

Meanwhile despite Mr Martin telling his family he did not use cocaine, they suspected he did occasionally do so.

He was taken to hospital by ambulance which stopped several times en route for paramedics to perform CPR treatment to revive him.

Ms Hamilton-Deeley noted that the paramedics had “done all they could”.

After they were called at 3.30pm on August 3, Mr Martin arrived at the intensive care unit at 5.40pm. Overnight his condition deteriorated further, and at 4am he was pronounced dead.

It was revealed that Mr Martin was also overweight and had been a regular cigarette smoker.

He is survived by a son and two daughters, his mother and stepfather, and his two sisters.

Ms Hamilton-Deeley said there was no indication Mr Martin intended to end his life and recorded a conclusion of a drug-related death and misadventure.