A CARE assistant died after taking an overdose of medication he was prescribed for a mental illness, an inquest heard.

Gareth Butler, aged 30, had been taking Clozapine, an antipsychotic drug, for a number of years after he was diagnosed with treatment resistant schizophrenia.

Mr Butler was found dead at his home in Halfpenny Road, Harnham, on May 18, after he took a fatal dose of the medication.

At an inquest into his death on Thursday senior coroner David Ridley recorded that Mr Butler’s death had been drug-related, but said it was not clear why he “consumed the amount of Clozapine he did”.

Mr Butler’s mother, Barbra McShane, told the hearing at Salisbury coroner’s court that her son was “positive about life and energetic”, and showed no signs that anything was wrong.

Ms McShane said Mr Butler was even planning ahead and was going to book time off to spend with her for her birthday in September.

His work colleagues at Mencap - a charity for people with learning disabilities, also described how he “always appeared content” and that there had been no indication that there was anything in his personal life causing him worry.

He had been under the care of Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership for a number of years because of his condition.

The inquest heard that the talented snooker player had had a “significant period of stability in his mental health” and there had not been cause for concern for the past 13 years. It was also said that his medication was set to be reduced, but he died before this could take place.

A post-mortem and toxicology report found Mr Butler died from Clozapine toxicity after it was found that he had 20.8mg of the antipsychotic medication per litre of blood in his system.

Mr Ridley said that in records of previous deaths from Clozapine toxicity, levels of the drug ranged from 1.2mg-13mg per litre of blood.

Speaking after the conclusion Ms McShane said: “None of us were there at the time, so we don’t know why [it happened].”

She added: “He was just a normal lad with banter. He will be loved and missed for the rest of our lives.”

Mr Thomas was an active member of the snooker club in Tollgate Road.