A NORTH Oxfordshire man known to friends as “Budgie” died of a heroin overdose in a Banbury public toilet, an inquest heard.

Anthony Broadbere, 47, also known as Tony, died in Banbury on August 1.

The inquest at Oxford Coroner’s Court on Wednesday heard that Mr Broadbere, of Duns Tew, was found unresponsive in a public toilet on Bridge Street.

He was taken to the Horton General Hospital in Banbury by paramedics and his body was identified by a friend.

Pathologist Elizabeth Soilleux, of the John Radcliffe Hospital, said Mr Broadbere’s blood contained traces of morphine, related chemicals and alcohol.

In a statement read to the inquest, she said: “Given the high levels, the cause of death can be given as a heroin overdose.”

Mr Broadbere’s GP at Deddington Health Centre, Dr Mike D’Souza, said his patient had had an opiate dependency since 1994, and a previous heroin overdose had required treatment at the Horton in June.

In another statement read to the inquest, Mr Broadbere’s friend Mark Weaver said: “I saw Tony at about 10.15 that morning by the post office. I spoke to Tony and he was his usual, bubbly self.”

Coroner Darren Salter said Mr Broadbere died a “drug-related death”.