Ex teacher and Oxford University graduate died of accidental overdose

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AN Oxford University graduate and retired teacher died from an accidental overdose of prescription drugs.

Peter Davies (67) was found dead at home in Skipton Road, Colne, on Easter Sunday, April 24th. He had been dead for some time.

Toxicology tests from the post-mortem examination found Mr Davies had died from the combined toxic effects of two anti-depressant drugs and a sleeping agent.

An inquest at Burnley Coroner’s Court heard how Mr Davies had taken a degree in Latin and classics, before studying theology at St Stephen’s House, Oxford, an Anglican college, offering training for ministries in the Church of England.

Mr Davies’ sister, Eileen Sutcliffe, told the hearing he originally wanted to join the Anglican priesthood but “fell into teaching”.

She added: “Peter taught in Stourbridge in the West Midlands, but after 20 years, he was diagnosed with clinical depression.

“He retired in 1993 and went back home to Colne, which I think was a mistake as all his friends were in Stourbridge.

“He crossed over to the Roman Catholic faith from the Church of England, as he did not approve of women joining the priesthood.”

Mr Davies, who took prescribed medication for depression, also suffered from diabetes and drank and smoked heavily according to his sister.

She added: “Peter tended to eat only once a day.

“He did not kill himself, I am convinced of that. His religious beliefs were too strong.”

Pathologist Dr Zuhair Twaij said his examination had revealed Mr Davies also suffered from heart disease, but this was only an underlying cause of death, which he gave as the combined toxicity of the prescribed medication.

East Lancashire Coroner Richard Taylor recorded a verdict of accidental death.