THE MUM of a homeless dad-of-three who died after taking an overdose of drugs has paid tribute to a 'very caring' man.

Simon Barras, who was homeless for several years and would beg on the streets of Burnley, was found dead at a friend's house on October 10.

Speaking after the inquest at Blackburn Town Hall, his mother Margaret Barras, described Mr Barras as a 'good lad that got in with the wrong crowd'.

She said: "Simon was very caring and would help anyone out.

"He was a homeless for a good couple of years.

"He was a good lad that got in with the wrong crowd."

Born and bred in Burnley, Mr Barras had worked in the past as a decorator and was a dad to Sophie Barras, Chelsea Leigh Barras and Maisy Barras.

She added: "Drugs are a menace and evil in our society that need to be tackled."

The hearing heard how the 45-year-old had a history of drug use.

A post-mortem examination recorded Mr Barras's medical cause of death as 'multi-drug toxicity' and that he had taken a variety of drugs including heroin, cocaine and diazepam in the run-up to his death.

The inquest also read out a written statement from Howard Brooks, a friend of Mr Barras.

It said: "Simon was a beggar in the town centre and a drug user and I'd known him for three years.

"I knew that he'd been in hospital for seven weeks with DVT and stomach issues.

"He came to my house straight from hospital." He went on to describe how he had gone to bed at 9pm on October 9 leaving Mr Barras in the living room.

But after waking up the next morning, he found Mr Barras lying on the floor next to his bed in the living room.

Police and ambulance crews attended and confirmed Mr Barras's death.

Recording a conclusion of misadventure, East Lancashire assistant coroner Richard Taylor, said: "Mr Barras had taken a variety of drugs including heroin, cocaine and diazepam.

"I have little doubt that he will have taken such combination of drugs in the past and been fine and that this was nothing out of the ordinary for him.

"But he'd come out of hospital and his tolerance were not what they were and he had no idea that this combination of drugs would have ended his life.

"So this was misadventure, the unexpected outcome of an intended action.

"Simon Barras died at 62 Stonyhurst Avenue, Burnley, on October 10 last year having ingested an excess of drugs."