A FORMER soldier who had a history of drug use died following a cocaine binge.

Andrew Campbell, 35, was found lying on the kitchen floor of his Church Crookham home surrounded by used needles and a bag of the white powder.

A post-mortem examination showed traces of alcohol, ecstasy and cocaine following the death on February 8.

The Basingstoke inquest heard that after leaving the army, Mr Campbell worked as a doorman and eventually formed his own company — UK Security.

Paul Smith, who worked with Mr Campbell, said that his friend would only take drugs at a ‘recreational’ level and to help him stay awake when working in the early hours.

A former partner, Nicola Langford, told the inquest that she first met Mr Campbell in 1995 and they had a son together two years later.

She became concerned that he was getting into drugs and her suspicions were confirmed when police raided their North Camp flat.

They found cocaine and heroin for which Mr Campbell, who was once a Lance Corporal based at Aldershot’s Gibraltar Barracks, served a three-month prison sentence.

His relationship with Miss Langford ended in 2001, but the pair remained in contact and she became concerned about his drug use again

last year.

“I suspected he was using drugs because his hands were quite swollen. I moved in with him for a while at Christmas but when I found out, I told him I had had enough.”

Another work colleague, John Campbell, who was not a relation of the deceased, said that on February 8 he went to Mr Campbell’s home.

“I got to his house at 11am and I saw that the car was parked outside, but the bedroom window was open like it had been the day before.

“I went round to the back of the house and found that the door was unlocked. As I stepped inside I saw him lying face down.”

Recording a verdict of misadventure, coroner Andrew Bradley deplored the use of drugs in modern society.

“There seems to be a general acceptance that drug taking is perfectly all right. A post-mortem means ‘after death’, and there is nothing much ‘recreational’ about that.

“The number of days that I have sat here considering this type of drug abuse saddens me a great deal.”