A Californian asylum seeker died in his Home Office accommodation after taking sleeping pills.

Christopher Davis came to the UK in January 2019 because he feared his life was in danger in his native US, Swindon and Wiltshire Coroner’s Court was told.

He had twice been admitted to psychiatric hospitals in London and Swindon and was prescribed mental health medication and drugs to help him sleep.

The 34-year-old’s body was found in his room by housing officer Jason Reece on December 6 last year.

Mr Reece had been conducting a routine check of the Redhouse Way house where Mr Davis lived with a number of others.

A little after 1.15pm he knocked twice on the door of Mr Davis’s room and called out his name. When there was no answer he knocked again before opening the locked door.

Mrs Davis was lying face down on the floor and scattered around the room were empty tablet phials.

Another person living in the house described last seeing Mr Davis on the weekend of November 23 and 24, a fortnight before his body was found.

Paramedics and police officers were called, but he was pronounced dead at the scene.

Mr Davis was said to have been in the UK since January 2019. He fled the US because he felt his life was in danger, although the reason was not said in open court.

In March and April 2019 he told the authorities he wanted to end his life by jumping from cliffs at Beachy Head in Sussex. He was admitted to Lambeth psychiatric hospital, but on discharge visited Beachy Head with the apparent intention of ending his life.

He moved from London to Home Office accommodation in Swindon in July because he had not got on with those in his previous house. On July 17 last year he was found unresponsive and it was feared he had taken an overdose. He was rushed first to Great Western Hospital and later admitted to Sandalwood Court. He was discharged on July 29.

Mr Davis was looked after by the mental health community team and had been prescribed a number of different drugs, including medication to help him sleep.

Emilie Harte, who works for Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership Trust, told the court in a statement he had been reluctant to discuss his suicidal thoughts. They had agreed a care plan, which included providing him with numbers for the NHS mental health crisis team and the Samaritans.

He told care workers he had stopped taking his medication. He also missed appointments with a consultant psychiatrist.

Mr Davis was said to have had a history of cannabis use but claimed he had not been taking drugs at the time of his death. He had long suffered from depression and anxiety.

Pathologist Dr Darko Lazic said toxicology reports indicated high levels of sleep medication in Mr Davis’ system.

Assistant coroner Ian Singleton recorded a conclusion of drug-related death, saying it was not possible to say whether Mr Davis had intended to take his own life.

Mr Singleton asked for his condolences to be passed on to his family in the US, who were not represented at the inquest on Wednesday. The Samaritans is available to help anybody in distress and can be reached at any time on 116 123 or by email at jo@samaritans.org.