THE coroner has ruled that a teenager who died after overdosing on painkillers did not intend to take his own life.

Michael Carter was found dead by his grandfather at their home in Penketh on May 2 having taking a large amount of dihydrocodeine.

After an appointment with his GP on May 1 the 19-year-old returned to Grange Drive, where he had lived with his grandparents since late 2013, at around 5pm.

His grandfather Ronald Carter described a ‘significant change in his personality and behaviour’ and said that the teenager ‘went in a trance state, like a zombie’.

On Thursday December 3, Warrington Coroner’s Court heard that Michael made ‘grunting noises’ throughout the night before Ronald found him dead at 9am on May 2.

Michael regularly took large quantities of dihydrocodeine as he struggled to manage severe back pain that had plagued him since he suffered a fit at Christmas 2013.

The coroner heard that Michael felt the amount prescribed to him was insufficient and bought extra painkillers from online pharmacies.

He usually received one delivery of medication per month but in the weeks leading up to his death Michael would order medication once a fortnight, and the day before his death he received two deliveries.

Cheshire Police launched a special investigation into internet pharmaceutical sites after Michael’s death, with Detective Sergeant Gordon Wilson expressing concerns at ‘the apparent ease at which Michael had purchased the drugs’.

Michael managed to buy the large amounts of painkillers by ordering them in the names of different family members.

Detective Constable Derek Sheridan made a covert online purchase from Science Supplies Direct, one of four companies that Michael had bought medication from, and found that ‘no checks whatsoever were made by the company’.

Michael’s GP Dr Andrew Dickinson had told the teenager, who was described as a ‘troubled person’ who often talked about ‘not going on after 18’, that he was taking ‘dangerous levels’ of the painkiller.

He had previously taken three overdoses between January and July 2014 and had threatened to commit suicide in January 2015 after he was assaulted by a friend for the third time.

But the coroner Alan Moore found that he was not at risk of suicide and was due to start college with a view to going to university.

More than 200 people attended the funeral of the popular teenager, and Ronald Carter paid tribute to his grandson at the inquest into his death.

He said: “He was a very, very clever boy.

“He used to worry about everybody else and not himself – he had a very wide range of friends he’d look after and solve their problems before his own.”

Toxicology tests revealed cannaboids, cocaine, several therapeutic drugs and a large quantity of dihydrocodeine in Michael’s system at the time of his death.

Michael had hypermobility, Asperger’s syndrome, ADHD and ‘complex mental health issues’ and was also addicted to benzodiazepine.

The coroner recorded a verdict of death by dihydrocodeine toxicity as a result of misadventure.

He said: “It’s a complex and tragic story – Michael was taking dangerous quantities of dihydrocodeine to manage his back pain and his emotional pain.

“Michael struggled to find effective pain relief and was accessing mediation outside of the normal channels.

“He was deliberately misleading online organisations – they couldn’t see or be alerted to the fact it was Michael buying all this medication.

“I find that he intentionally took these dangerous quantities but he was not taking them with the intention of taking his own life.”