A CORONER has warned of the dangers of buying drugs over the internet at an inquest into the death of a keen diver and sportsman at his home near Dorchester.

The mother of 25-year-old Jake Holden found him dead at his home in Winterbourne Abbas on May 9.

The electrical engineer had won a shooting silver medal for Britain at the age of 13 in an international competition in France and had been tipped as a future Olympic hopeful.

Mr Holden was also a member of the Old Harbour Dive Centre in Weymouth.

The inquest at County Hall in Dorchester was told that a post mortem and toxicology analysis indicated he had taken heroin prior to his death while there were traces of a number of other drugs in his system.

PC Gillian Cregg, who attended the address on the day his body was discovered, said in a statement that Mr Holden’s girlfriend had told her he bought tablets over the internet to try and help him relax and sleep.

She said Mr Holden’s mother Barbara had told her how he had taken his dinner to his room at around 8.30pm the previous evening and she had heard him snoring in the night.

Mrs Holden said she had shouted goodbye as she left for work but did not get a response and, after attempting to call him a couple of times during the day without reply, she returned home to find him dead in his bed.

Pathologist Dr Mark Deverell said the cause of death was pulmonary oedema due to opiate toxicity.

West Dorset Coroner Michael Johnston said: “Jake Holden had obviously bought a variety of drugs either over the counter or over the internet and from somewhere he had also got heroin.

“He told his girlfriend he was doing this to help him sleep and I have to say it is really dangerous to play around with drugs you buy over the internet because you don’t know what’s in them nor do you know the levels that they would be prescribed by a doctor.”

Mr Johnston urged anyone thinking of obtaining drugs to help them sleep to go and see their doctor.

He recorded a verdict of accidental death.

Mr Johnston said: “I believe what has happened is a tragic accident and that’s the verdict I’m going to return.”