AN INMATE at HMP Dorchester died as a result of a self administered drug overdose, a jury concluded.

Tobias Necchi-Ghiri, aged 27, was pronounced dead at Dorset County Hospital on May 27, 2013, four days after he was discovered unconscious in his cell.

An inquest with a jury was held at the coroner’s court at County Hall, Dorchester, to reach a conclusion into Mr Necchi-Ghiri’s cause of death.

The court heard from several witnesses, including DC Gerald Marchant, the investigating officer in the case.

DC Marchant told the court that on the morning of the incident, Mr Necchi-Ghiri had been captured on CCTV entering his cell appearing to be in good health.

He explained, however, that a fellow inmate discovered an unconscious Mr Necchi-Ghiri in the same cell half an hour later slumped on the floor face down.

Prison officers were alerted and medical help was quickly sought.

Mr Necchi-Ghiri was sent to Dorset County Hospital and transferred to its intensive care unit.

DC Marchant told the court: “It was summarised that the most likely cause of his condition was drug infused cardiac arrest.

“There was no allegation by anyone that Tobias Necchi-Ghiri had been assaulted.”

A CT scan later revealed Mr Necchi-Ghiri had suffered a hypoxic brain injury, which couldn’t be recovered from. His death was recorded at 9.18am on May 27.

HMP Dorchester officially closed in December later that year but for unrelated reasons.

The court heard Mr Necchi-Ghiri was a known drug user but was looking at ways to stay clean.

Cathy Franks, who was nurse lead manager for substance misuse at HMP Dorchester, told the court: “He was very forthcoming that he had issues.

“He had a previous overdose in the community and that resulted in having a period in intensive care.”

Ms Franks said Mr Necchi-Ghiri was due to be released in July and had gotten on well with the nurses and healthcare staff.

She said: “He was able to come and ask if he needed help.”

Richard Middleton, assistant coroner for Dorset, read from a report provided by consultant pathologist Dr John Mikel.

In his autopsy report, Dr Mikel said there were no external markings on Mr Necchi-Ghiri’s body, other than a recent syringe injection mark in the right side of his groin and a small laceration to his nose.

The court heard a toxicology report revealed a fatal dose of fentanyl had been consumed, a drug which hadn’t been prescribed as part of Mr Necchi-Ghiri’s medication.

Tim Hogg, who served as head of residence at HMP Dorchester at the time, told the court the prison had a system where two members of staff would open mail sent to prisoners as part of security measures.

Despite these efforts however, Mr Hogg said: “People who smuggle drugs in find ingenious ways of doing it.”

The jury of eight took just under 45 minutes to reach a unanimous conclusion that the death was drug related.

They agreed Mr Necchi-Ghiri died as a result of a self administered drug overdose and complications that arose from it.