Rustington teenager died after taking cocktail of drugs and alcohol, inquest told

A POPULAR teenager died after taking a deadly cocktail of drugs and alcohol, an inquest heard.

Musician Robert Janes, who lived at Rustington and was a member of Worthing band Sexmess, was found dead in a flat at East Preston the morning after drinking "two to three" litres of cider, smoking cannabis and taking strong pain-killer morphine and anti-depressant drug Prozac.

At the inquest at Worthing Town Hall yesterday (Thursday, June 25), consultant pathologist Dr Keith Roberts said the levels of the drugs and alcohol in his system were "fatal", and that the amount of morphine alone could have been enough to kill him.

Giving evidence, his father Robert Janes senior, said his 17-year-old son had a history of self-harming and had previously had suicidal thoughts.

Depression diagnosed

He said Robert, of Maple Walk, Rustington, had previously studied mechanics at Northbrook College, but had struggled to come to terms with his parents' separation in 2006 and had turned to drink and drugs.

In 2008, Robert was referred to a psychiatrist, Radha Bhat, who diagnosed he had a major depressive disorder.

She prescribed him Prozac, and recommended treatment comprising of psychological intervention and counselling.

Robert's friend, Imogen Baird, said she had spoken to him on the phone the night before he died and had also had a conversation on social networking website MySpace with him. They had arranged to meet the following week.

She said initially he sounded happy, but after admitting on MySpace he had taken morphine at 2am, in their next phone conversation he sounded short of breath. She admitted his typing and texts messages became "jumbled", too.

Found lying face down

Robert was pronounced dead on the morning of Saturday, March 21, at the home of his friend James Hooper at Station Parade, East Preston.

They had spent the night before at the flat, and, according to James, drank two or three litres of cider each.

He said Robert had seemed fine when he went to bed, but during the night said he was snoring loudly, breathing heavily and sweating a lot.

The following morning, when James woke up, he said he found Robert lying face down on his bed and he was cold and pale. Paramedics were called, but Robert was pronounced dead.

Detective Sergeant Alan Pack, of Arun CID, attended the scene but said he found nothing to indicate third-party involvement in Robert's death.

Mr Janes said his son was a "very clever lad" who was popular with his friends, but had been "let down by the system". He said his son had "got in with the wrong crowd" and felt frustrated as he could not get a job.

Assistant coroner for West Sussex, Mike Kendall, ruled out the possibility Robert intended to take his own life, saying there was no evidence to support that theory.

He recorded a verdict of accidental death.


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