THE father of a Salisbury man, who died after he mixed drugs and alcohol at a New Year’s Eve party, has remembered his son’s early talents before he sank into depression.

Darren Lovell, 24, died at a party held at a flat in Glyndebourne Close, in Bemerton Heath, an inquest heard on Tuesday.

His father, Tim, said the former Wyvern College pupil had been “an intelligent lad and an excellent mathematician” when he was at school.

Mr Lovell added that his son had a talent for music and was a good keyboard player, but couldn’t cope with not seeing his baby daughter.

“Darren did not realise that this would not be the situation forever but he couldn’t deal with it and slumped into a depression and turned to drink,” he said.

Mr Lovell, of Lower Road, was found unconscious on a sofa at the flat on the morning of New Year’s Day.

His friends Abbie Littler, who had organised the party, and Daniel Guyatt, tried to wake him but he was “cold and unresponsive”.

Mrs Littler told the coroner’s hearing she followed emergency instructions given over the telephone in a frantic attempt to revive Mr Lovell.

“I pulled him off the sofa and did everything I was told to try to bring him round, but I knew it was too late,” she said.

“I am still tortured by what happened.”

Mrs Littler said she had left her prescription methadone dose on the side in the kitchen and she later realised it had gone.

The court heard Mr Lovell drank some of the methadone and was also “very drunk” at the party.

“We had both drunk lots of alcohol before the party and at the party, but Darren had also taken his diazepam tablets I knew were prescribed to him,”

Mr Guyatt said.

The inquest heard Mr Lovell suffered from anxiety and depression and had been on a controlled dose of diazepam tablets.

He had a recent history of alcohol abuse, had taken methadone in the past, and had been in rehabilitation earlier in the year.

Giving a narrative verdict, assistant coroner for Wiltshire Claire Balysz said Mr Lovell’s death was due to respiratory depression brought about by the consumption of a toxic combination of benzodiazepines, alcohol and methadone.