A YOUNG schizophrenic man who took a fatal overdose developed his disease after taking drugs at the Glastonbury music festival, an inquest has heard.

James Collard, 23, was living in sheltered accommodation in Upton Avenue when he was rushed to Hemel Hempstead Hospital on the evening of August 1 after calling an ambulance himself.

He spoke coherently to the paramedics, but was very unsteady by the time they got to hospital and died just after midnight.

After hearing he was waiting for them outside his flat with the empty pill bottles in a bag to show what he had taken, coroner Edward Thomas recorded a verdict of accidental death.

He said: "This is indicative he did something which he instantly regretted.

"It had the unintended and wanted consequence of his death. That is an accident."

Thursday's inquest at Hatfield Coroner's Court heard documentary evidence that Mr Collard had taken A-levels and was about to go to university when he had a bad experience with drugs at Glastonbury and was never the same again.

Dr Thomas said: "From that moment he was quite distressed."

Mr Collard, who also suffered from Crohn's disease, experienced delusions for years, but was showing signs of improvement when he died.

Originally from Southgate in London, he had been transferred from a psychiatric home in Bricket Wood to Upton Avenue in June.

His diary recorded he was upset that children in the area were laughing at him, although the inquest heard this may have been a delusion caused by his illness.

The mental health professionals who gave evidence said how they had hoped Mr Collard would soon recover sufficiently to go to college, and how shocked they were at his death.

Dr Thomas said: "It is really sad, because he was moving forward in a way that could have enabled him to come to terms with his illness."

The post mortem showed he died from an overdose of psychiatric medication, and there was no evidence of illegal drugs in his blood.