A WOMAN awoke in the middle of the night to find her boyfriend had died from suspected alcohol and drug toxicity.

Robert Middleton, 43, was pronounced dead by paramedics on April 11 at an address in Earley where he had been staying with his partner.

A pre-inquest opened on Tuesday (September 19) at Berkshire Coroner’s Court heard that the couple, from Woodley, had gone to bed at about 11pm.

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When Mr Middleton’s partner awoke at about 1am she found her partner ‘struggling for breath’ and he ‘couldn’t sit up’.

However, paramedics believed that Mr Middleton had been deceased ‘for several hours’ due to his blood pooling.

Assistant coroner Ian Wade KC said: “She rushed to get a friend’s help and when they returned they realised they needed to call the South Central Ambulance Service.

“On arrival, paramedics found Robert deceased and believed he had been dead for several hours.”

A medical cause of death, which was offered following a post-mortem examination, has been established as combined alcohol and cocaine toxicity.

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Mr Wade added: “This is an acute drug death.”

A full inquest will take place to establish the circumstances surrounding Mr Middleton’s death on October 24 at 1pm at the same court in Reading.