Tring Open University student died from drug overdose ‘while cleaning bath’

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A 20-year-old student may have died while trying to clean the bath before his mother returned from a holiday, an inquest heard today.

Herts Coroners Court heard that Benjamin McManus, of Windmill Way, Tring, was found on the floor with his jeans rolled up on August 8 last year.

He had overdosed on barbiturates that was not prescribed to him, and there were a couple of inches of water in the bath next to him.

His mum was due to return the next day from Somerset, where she was taking a two-day trip to see a close friend.

Coroner Edward Thomas said Benjamin’s dosage of the drug was only just above the toxic level and that his death was accidental, adding: “I think he was cleaning the bath.”

The inquest heard that Benjamin complained to his GP in November 2011 about stress, demotivation, trouble sleeping, and noisy accommodation while at Oxford Brookes University.

After a term there, he moved back home to study for an Open University degree. He watched the news and Olympics with his dad the night before his death and they spoke about a forthcoming TV show they both wanted to see.