A CORONER said she will never “dismiss” deaths because they are drug-related.

At an inquest on Wednesday, coroner Veronica Hamilton-Deeley said she handles a high number of cases related to drugs, but she is totally committed to these investigations.

Speaking at Brighton Coroner’s Court, she said: “We have more drug-related deaths here per capita than at any other coroner’s office.

“But we will never dismiss a death as ‘just another drug-related death’.

“A lot of public money is spent investigating deaths like these because we don’t want to miss anything.

“If we are getting deaths from rarer drugs, we and the police need to know about it.

“It matters to me just as much as any death I investigate.”

Ms Hamilton-Deeley was addressing the court during an inquest into the death of 24-year-old Luke Blackhurst.

On Tuesday, January 22 last year Luke was found dead at his home in Fred Emery Court, a supported housing project run by the YMCA in Sillwood Street in Brighton.

Luke had a diagnosis of high-functioning autism and ADHD.

A toxicology report found low levels of drugs in his blood, including ketamine and morphine, which can both suppress the gag reflex.

Luke had vomiting while asleep, and died after a pneumonia had developed in his lungs and suppressed his respiratory system, the coroner ruled.