A 57-YEAR-OLD postman was found by relatives after taking a fatal overdose of painkillers and alcohol, an inquest heard.

Michael Watkinson was found in the bedroom of his home in Juniper Way, Stonehouse, by members of his family who went looking for him when he failed to attend a family barbecue on Sunday, September 1 last year.

The inquest heard that Mr Watkinson had potentially fatal levels of codeine in his system and his blood alcohol level was twice the legal drink-drive limit.

A statement from Sergeant Matthew Phillips, who attended Mr Wilkinson’s home on September 1, was read out at the inquest on Tuesday, February 18.

According to Sgt Phillips paramedics and Mr Watkinson’s wife and daughter were present when he arrived and there was a packet of co-codamol painkillers by the bed which had 60 tablets missing.

He later also found what appeared to be four suicide notes in the kitchen.

The inquest was told that a near-empty bottle of brandy was also discovered.

According to Sgt Phillips there were no signs of any disturbance, forced entry or third party involvement.

The inquest heard Mr Watkinson had been separated from his wife but had been working towards a reconciliation.

Gloucestershire deputy coroner David Dooley said Mr Watkinson had been found alone in his bedroom having taken a large overdose of painkillers and alcohol.

"The facts about how he was found make it seem unlikely that his action was a cry for help as no-one was available to come and help him or likely to arrive in time to help," said Mr Dooley.

The coroner said the appropriate conclusion was that Mr Watkinson took his own life.