A HEROIN addict died after an overdose just days after being released from prison, an inquest heard.

The distraught mother of Paul Whiting, 42, revealed how drugs took over his life and ultimately ended it after the open verdict yesterday.

He died at Southend Hospital after being found collapsed at home in Southchurch Road, Southend on June 8.

In a letter read to the court his mum said: “Last time I saw him I gave him some money. He looked so healthy and handsome. He kissed me on the cheek and told me he loved me.

“He used to help me with the gardening. I miss and love him with all my heart.”

Speaking in court, his tearful mother added: “He just got addicted. He couldn’t do anything about it.

“He was a lovely person.”

Mr Whiting was jailed for a year in December after stealing a car, handbag and committing fraud.

After his release he was found at home.

Det Insp Mel Jobson said there were no suspicious circumstances.

She said: “The medics were there and had removed him from the property and were working on him in the ambulance.

“We did find evidence of drug taking.”

Senior Essex Coroner Caroline Beasley-Murray recorded an open conclusion at the inquest.

She said: “The cause of death was intoxicity by heroin, cocaine and other agents.

“I have considered suicide but I have not got enough evidence.

“I have also considered accident but I am not going to record that because we do not quite know the circumstances.

“I am going to record an open conclusion.

“We do not quite know what was on his mind.”

His sisters, mother and daughter sat in the inquest.

The much loved addict was most recently jailed after stealing a car, stealing a handbag, committing fraud to obtain £60, and stealing chocolate worth £40 from a supermarket.

He admitted all the offences having been turned onto crime to feed his habit.