Dragons' Den star whose death devastated Paris Hilton was found at home surrounded by gin and tonics after he took drugs overdose, inquest hears

Drew Cockton, 36, passed away from an overdose on October 22 last yearThe entrepreneur impressed Dragon's Den with his candor about mental healthHe had £50k investment from Toulker Suleyman for candle business Owen Drew

A Dragons’ Den star whose death devastated Paris Hilton was found at home surrounded by gin and tonics after he took a drug overdose, an inquest heard.

Drew Cockton, who secured a £50,000 investment for his scented candle business after impressing the Dragons’ on the BBC1 show, was found dead on October 22 last year.

A post-mortem found he had died of an overdose of prescription painkillers and antipsychotic drugs.

At his inquest today, coroner Andre Rebello said: ‘The amount of medication that would have been taken precludes this being an inadvertent overdose.’

He was found at his home in Wirral, Merseyside, at 12.45pm with ‘a number of glasses around him containing gin and tonic’.

A post-mortem found that Drew Cockton (pictured), who secured a £50,000 investment for his scented candle business on Dragon's Den, had died of an overdose of prescription painkillers and antipsychotic drugs

A post-mortem found that Drew Cockton (pictured), who secured a £50,000 investment for his scented candle business on Dragon’s Den, had died of an overdose of prescription painkillers and antipsychotic drugs

A hand-written note, which was also found at the scene, was believed to have been written by Mr Cockton at an earlier date due to the high levels of alcohol in his system.

Mr Rebello said: ‘The deficiencies with such notes are they are never time and date stamped, and no one would have any idea as to when such a note was written. However, part of the note, the first page, appears to be thought through.

‘Certainly, the note appears to be that from a very loving, caring person who is trying to explain what is going on, and at some stage, it would appear there was some intent of fatal harm. Whether it was written that night or previously, I don’t know.’

He handed down a conclusion of death by misadventure, adding: ‘Drew was highly intoxicated on the morning of October 22, such that it would not have been able to form fatal intent.

‘A post-mortem did not reveal any defence marks or signs of violence such as would be apparent by medication being forced upon him, so therefore it’s more likely than not that he inadvertently died as a result of taking the medication he had been prescribed.’

The 36-year-old, from Merseyside, founded the vegan fragrance brand Owen Drew in 2017 after quitting his high-pressured corporate job to turn his candle-making hobby into an enterprise.

Mr Cockton pitched to the Dragons on the BBC show last year and impressed them with how candid he was about his bipolar disorder- so much so that retail mogul Touker Suleyman agreed to invest £50,000 in the venture in exchange for a 30 per cent stake.

The success of his fragrance brand skyrocketed following his investment, even securing the endorsement of socialite Paris Hilton and reality star Gemma Collins.

Mr Cockton impressed the Dragons with his honesty about his mental health when he appeared on the BBC show last year (pictured)

Mr Cockton impressed the Dragons with his honesty about his mental health when he appeared on the BBC show last year (pictured)

Owen Drew sold bath oils, perfumes, soaps and various other high-end wellness fragrance-based products

Owen Drew sold bath oils, perfumes, soaps and various other high-end wellness fragrance-based products

Mr Cockton’s final Instagram post before his passing spoke about making sure his staff felt comfortable enough to be authentic and doing ‘simple things’ to create a safe environment.

He wrote: ‘Businesses big and small should be encouraging their staff to feel comfortable about being their true and authentic selves,

‘This has been proven by economists to boost productivity and profitability, so from an economic as well as moral viewpoint there is the impetus to do so.

‘Simple things such as taking the time to learn which pronouns your staff members want to use and creating an environment in which they feel comfortable to open up about their lives outside work without fear of judgement is key.’

In an interview with FEMAIL last year, Mr Cockton explained how he may have remained in an unfulfilling office job had he not fought his own challenging health battles which led to a diagnosis of bipolar disorder.

He told MailOnline: ‘I’m naturally very creative and there’s no doubt certain traits of living with bipolar have helped me, rather than hindered me.

‘Once I’m in that mindset I’m focused and if I decide to do something, I do it. That’s where bipolar helps me, and the lack of concern with taking risks is what made me go on Dragons’ Den – I don’t think I’d have done it otherwise.’

Paris Hilton later posted online to pay her tributes following his death, speaking of her devastation

Paris Hilton later posted online to pay her tributes following his death, speaking of her devastation

Following his death, his mum Kate Drew said: ‘We are truly, utterly heartbroken to have to tell you that our beloved Drew Peter George Cockton (my gorgeous boy) died peacefully at home yesterday. We are devastated beyond belief. Life is never, ever going to be the same again. Rest Peacefully darling boy.’

Comments paying tribute flooded in after his death was announced, with one from Paris Hilton saying: ‘Devastated to hear the news of my friend & #LittleHilton @mrowendrew. He was so kind with a heart of gold.

‘My heart breaks for his loved ones & family. Sending them all my condolences & so much love. RIP sweet soul. Love you forever my friend.’

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