A LORRY driver found slumped behind the wheel of his car died after overdosing on heroin, a coroner has concluded.

A passer-by found Kevin Wood, 31, unresponsive behind the wheel of a silver car on Newbury Avenue, Calne, on March 25.

Wiltshire Coroner’s Court heard paramedics were called and attempted to resuscitate the man. Despite their best efforts he was pronounced dead.

Police officers found two wraps of suspected controlled drugs in the car together with a pipe. Pathologist Dr Lawrence John found needle marks on the man’s skin and a toxicology report pointed to high levels of morphine in his system.

In a witness statement read to the court by assistant coroner Ian Singleton, Mr Wood’s mother Anne chronicled her son’s struggle with drug addiction.

Around six years ago she had caught him sniffing a white powder and he told her it wouldn’t happen again. Three years later she had smelt cannabis on his clothes and sat him down to speak about his drug use.

She said she had found him trying to hide a pipe around eight months before his death. “I confronted him and he was very apologetic,” she said.

Mr Wood had previously worked with addiction support service Turning Point, but was not known to the charity at the time of his death.

By January 2020 he was staying out later and later, which was out of character. That month he had borrowed a car from hire firm Enterprise, which had been taken by some “friends”. It was suggested he had had to fight to get the car back, as they were angry Enterprise had contacted them directly. When he died it was noted he had a laceration on his face, although detectives found there had been no third-party involvement in his death.

On March 24 at around 8.45pm he told his mother he was going to fetch something from the car, which he had hidden around the corner from the family home on Braemor Road.

Half an hour later she texted her son to ask him where he was. He replied after a minute to say he was nearly at the car.

29 minutes passed before she told him in another text she was locking up. She said in her statement she was worried about what he was getting himself into and whether he was safe. He texted back after midnight to say he was “staying out”.

Around 8am next day, Clive Spruce called 999 after seeing Mr Wood slumped behind the wheel of the car in the Portemarsh industrial estate, around a mile and a half away from his home.

Mr Wood told paramedics he did not want medical assistance, had been sleeping and on his way home.

Six and a half hours later, paramedics were called to Newbury Avenue again following reports of a man found unresponsive in a car. 999 crews tried to revive Mr Wood but were unsuccessful and he was pronounced dead at 3.02pm.

Police officers Sarah Chivers and Evangeline Templar found two wraps of suspected controlled drugs in the car together with drugs paraphernalia.

Mrs Wood told the court: “I am absolutely sure Kevin would not have taken his own life.” She said he had been making plans for the future and did not suffer from depression.

Ian Singleton concluded Mr Wood died as a result of a heroin overdose. He asked for his condolences to be passed on to the man’s family.