AN EX-SERVICEMAN, who had served in Bosnia, died when he took an overdose of drink and drugs, an inquest heard.

Robert McKay had been drinking in The Great Western Hotel, in Vyne Road, South View, Basingstoke, on March 21 before returning home to wash down prescription drugs with cans of lager.

The 48-year-old slipped into a coma from which he never came out, and after spells at hospitals in Basingstoke and Winchester, he died at St Michael’s Hospice, in Aldermaston Road, on April 24.

An inquest at Alton Magistrates’ Court heard that McKay died of pneumonia, after suffering brain damage caused by the overdose of drink and drugs.

His wife Linda McKay said her husband had post-traumatic stress disorder after serving with the Royal Corps of Signals in Bosnia as part of peace-keeping missions during the Balkan wars of the 1990s.

Shje added her husband was also on medication for a personality disorder, was addicted to alcohol, and had a history of suicide attempts.

In a statement, Mrs McKay said she returned to their home in Berwyn Close, Buckskin, on March 21 to find her husband asleep on the sofa, surrounded by 12 cans of Grolsch lager and an empty bottle of a morphine-derivative.

She said when she went to wake him the following morning, he was unresponsive and she found more packets of medication in his hands.

Dr Nicholas Harris, said he saw Mr McKay at The Bridge Centre, in New Road, Basingstoke, the mental health clinic, until December last year.

He said: “He was a likeable man in person but obviously he had a long-established pattern of behaviour of impulsive acts that put himself and others at risk.”

North East Hampshire coroner Andrew Bradley said: “I have no doubt that he died at his own hand. But on the basis of the evidence that we have got, it’s an open verdict.”