AN out-of-work window cleaner died when he fell from a balcony after taking drugs, an inquest heard.

Forensic tests showed Mark Hanshaw, 31, had heroin, diazepam, ketamine and methadone in his body but no alcohol, coroner Jonathan Leech said at a hearing on Tuesday at New Earswick Folk Hall.

In a witness statement, staff nurse Jessica Middleton said she was returning home with her dog through Pateley Place, Acomb, shortly before 10pm on Sunday, May 24, when she heard a noise and turned.

"I saw a male fall through the air," she said.

She tried to help him with towels and at one stage saw Mr Hanshaw's girlfriend Sabrina Mariga on the first-floor balcony from which the man had fallen. The woman didn't seem to realise what had happened, the hearing was told.

The coroner read out police statements that officers found no sign of a struggle or fight in the flat and made a finding that the death had been accidental.

"It is unclear how and why he fell," he said.

He concluded that the death was accidental.

Mr Hanshaw's girlfriend, Sabrina Mariga said he split his time between her flat in Pateley Place and his mother's.

On May 24, she spent the day in bed with back pain. She heard Mr Hanshaw playing with his daughter and thought he had been drinking wine because she found three empty bottles in the kitchen later.

In the evening, she brought some washing in from the balcony and took it upstairs to another room while Mr Hanshaw stayed on the balcony.

Only when she heard screaming outside did she realise he had fallen and went outside to him.

Simon Thomson, consultant neurosurgeon at Leeds General Infirmary, said Mr Hanshaw was admitted to its accident and emergency department just before 11pm on May 24 with head, brain, chest, leg and other injuries.

He was on intensive care for some time and received other treatment, but did not improve and after discussions with the family his life support was switched off and he died on June 30.

Police intelligence reports given to the coroner said several people suspected that Mr Hanshaw had been trying to reach for drugs hidden in the roof void.

Asked if she was aware Mr Hanshaw had drugs in the roof void, Ms Mariga replied: "No, no".

The inquest heard that Mr Hanshaw had regular meetings with a drug rehabilitation agency, Lifeline.