A painter and decorator died because of a fall after taking a cocktail of drink and drugs including an overdose of the anti-smoking pill, Zyban, an inquest heard.

Relatives of Bruce Craddock, 41, of Shirley Avenue, York, are appealing for others to be aware of the dangers of mixing medication as Mr Craddock was also taking the anti-depressant Prozac before he died.

York coroner, Donald Coverdale, recorded a verdict of accidental death saying Mr Craddock died as a result of a head injury sustained during a fall at his home.

The inquest, held in York, heard he had been depressed after splitting up with his girlfriend and, three days before his death, had an altercation with her new boyfriend during which he received a black eye.

But the pathologist's report ruled out the possibility that his death was caused by that injury.

Thomas Harrison, Mr Craddock's lodger, told the inquest that his landlord had been taking Zyban in an attempt to give up smoking and seemed to have succeeded. But on October 17 he drank two bottles of red wine and went to bed around 9pm.

Mr Harrison was disturbed several times during the night.

He said: "I heard a big bang and rushed next door. He was lying by the side of the bed holding on to the door of the wardrobe. He was just blabbering so I put him back in bed.

"I had to get up about five or six times to take him back to bed. He fell into my room once and knocked my table over."

The next day Mr Harrison complained he was hot and could not move his legs properly. Mr Harrison brought him three glasses of water before going to work.

He returned in the evening to find Mr Craddock dead in bed.

Home Office pathologist Dr Kenneth Shorrock said Mr Craddock had bruises on his head and scratches and bruises all over his body.

Fluoxetine (Prozac) and Bupropion (Zyban) were in his system, with enough alcohol to take him over the drink-drive limit.

Dr Shorrock said: "He had taken a minimum of three times the daily dose of Zyban when he died which is a clinically significant overdose which can cause an alteration in mental state.

"It is possible that the two drugs taken together could have caused him to become confused and unsteady and may have affected the way he was behaving before he died."

Mr Coverdale said: "Possibly the level of alcohol he had consumed made him confused and forgetful about what he had taken. That could happen with any medication.

"The verdict is accidental death, the accident being a fall which happened in his bedroom some time between October 17 and 18."

Updated: 09:22 Thursday, May 24, 2001