A MAN who struggled to sleep after playing video games into the early hours of the morning died from taking too many sleeping pills.

Grant Holding was receiving prescribed medication to help him sleep, but when he couldn’t get his prescription he would ask friends and family to buy him over-the-counter tablets such as Nytol and Sleep-ease.

The 32-year-old was found dead in the kitchen of his grandmother’s house in Wells Road, Ronkswood, Worcester, on Thursday, November 17.

A post-mortem and toxicology report found there was 6.6mg of diphenhydramine per litre of blood in his body – fatal levels are between 8mg and 31mg per litre.

Pathologist Christopher Allen said he could not determine whether Mr Holding died from a deliberate overdose, an accidental overdose or a build-up of the drug over time.

An inquest into his death at Worcestershire Coroner’s Court in Stourport was told that Mr Holding had overcome drug and drink problems, but suffered sleeping problems for about two years. Coroner Geraint Williams recorded a verdict that Mr Holding died as the result of a non-dependent abuse of drugs.

The inquest was told that the day before his death Mr Holding, of Randwick Drive, Warndon, had asked his father Derek Holding to buy him sleep aids.

The next morning he went to visit family friend Christine Roberts and asked her to do the same.

His local chemist refused to serve him because they dispensed his prescription.

Ms Roberts said she was concerned about Mr Holding’s use of Nytol and had told him it would be the last time she bought it for him.

“If I had known someone had got it for him the night before, I never would have bought it for him,” she said.

Ms Roberts said Mr Holding was looking forward to staying with his mother Jean Yeomans in Dorset for Christmas.

Shirley Milton, a friend of Mr Holding’s grandmother, found him collapsed on the kitchen floor at 3.30pm.

Derek Holding told the inquest he saw his son the previous afternoon when he had asked him to get him some sleeping tablets.

“He was taking them because he wasn’t working, he was playing video games most of the night and used to sleep during the day,” he told the inquest.

“He said they helped him sleep. I always thought they were herbalisitc.”

Derek Holding said on the day he saw Grant, he was “absolutely fine” – well-kept, laughing and joking. He said: “I never had any reason to think he wanted to harm himself. It was not in his genes.”

Mrs Yeomans said Mr Holding’s mental health team were looking to get him a house near her in Dorset.

Mrs Yeomans said her son’s previous use of hard drugs had left him with mild schizophrenia.

“He used to say to me, ‘mum, I wish the voices would go away’,” she said.

“I think that’s why he used to drink, to black it out.

“But even through all his dark times, I never had to worry about Grant taking his own life, it never came into the equation.”