A CAMPAIGNER has called for a county-wide review of support services afforded to homeless drug users after an inquest found a rough sleeper died of cocaine abuse.

Flowers and poems were placed outside Brays in Worcester Road after Paul ‘Joby’ Sparrey was found dead there on Christmas morning last year.

Following an inquest at Worcestershire Coroner’s Court last Wednesday, senior coroner Geraint Williams concluded the 47-year-old had “died as a result of the abuse of drugs.”

He also listed “cocaine use”, alongside ischaemic heart disease and coronary artery atheroma as the medical causes of death.

Homelessness campaigner Hugo Sugg said he was “saddened” to hear it was drug abuse that killed Mr Sparrey, adding that action needs to be taken “to stop this from happening again.”

Mr Sparrey’s death was the second of a rough sleeper in the town last year, following that of Remigiusz Boczarski who had been living in a bus shelter in Wells Road.

Mr Boczarski is believed to have taken his own life aged 40 on October 31 and his inquest is due later this year following delays.

A Safeguarding Adults Review will attempt to understand the issues surrounding these two cases, as well as that of a homeless man in Worcester in April.

The review will also consider the city council’s report into the death of Worcester rough sleeper Cardon Banfield in July 2016.

The investigation was launched earlier this year thanks to pressure from Mr Sugg, a former University of Worcester student who previously spent time living on the streets.

The founder of Hugo’s Earthquake Campaign (HEC) said until the county council’s review has been completed, it won’t be certain what support was available to Mr Sparrey.

“The campaign would like to see an immediate Worcestershire-wide review of support services to help drug users who present as homeless in Worcestershire, to stop this from happening again,” he added.

“In light of this tragic news, our condolences are once again sent to Joby’s friends and family.”

“HEC will continue to raise awareness about the issue and apply pressure to stop deaths of rough sleepers across Worcestershire and the UK - and we will continue to retain the memory of Joby Sparrey.”

Stephen Gabriel, from Malvern Hills District Council, told the BBC the authority sent condolences to Mr Sparrey’s family and friends and was working to improve its response to rough sleeping.

“What the coroner’s verdict highlights is the complex needs of the rough sleepers we come into contact with on a daily basis and supporting them is not as simple or straightforward as may first appear.”