Xbox gamer, 43, was found dead clutching his controller after drug overdose

A gamer in Swansea was found dead clutching his controller after a late night session, an inquest has heard. 

Simon Shanks, 43, was found by his friend the next morning sitting upright on his sofa in front of the screen, with the controller in his hands.  

Paramedics declared Shanks dead at the scene and a coroner recorded the cause of death an ‘unintentional overdose’.   

Simon Shanks, 43, was found dead clutching his controller after a fatal drug overdose during a late night session, an inquest has heard

Simon Shanks, 43, was found dead clutching his controller after a fatal drug overdose during a late night session, an inquest has heard

Simon Shanks, 43, was found dead clutching his controller after a fatal drug overdose during a late night session, an inquest has heard

The pair of friends had stayed up until around midnight playing on the Xbox on the night Shanks died.

The friend had gone upstairs to bed just before midnight and returned 11 hours later to find Shanks unmoved. 

The 43-year-old was ‘still on the sofa, in a sitting position, still clutching the Xbox controller’, the inquest heard.    

Paramedics and police were called to the property in Loughor, Swansea, but Shanks was pronounced dead at the scene at 12.15pm.

A post-mortem found Shanks had ‘therapeutic levels’ of prescribed medication as well as levels of methadone, cocaine, and morphine, in his blood.  

The report also discovered signs the 43-year-old had a thickening of the heart, a condition which can render the organ unable to pump enough blood around the body, and result in a sudden death. 

Acting senior coroner Colin Phillips recorded Shanks had died of an ‘unintentional overdose’ at Glebe Road, Loughor, Swansea, on October 19, 2020.    

Shanks was found by his friend at the property in Loughor, Swansea, the next morning and was pronounced dead at the scene

Shanks was found by his friend at the property in Loughor, Swansea, the next morning and was pronounced dead at the scene

Shanks was found by his friend at the property in Loughor, Swansea, the next morning and was pronounced dead at the scene

Shank's death was recorded as caused by an 'unintentional overdose' by acting senior coroner Colin Philips

Shank's death was recorded as caused by an 'unintentional overdose' by acting senior coroner Colin Philips

Shank’s death was recorded as caused by an ‘unintentional overdose’ by acting senior coroner Colin Philips

Shanks had previously been a heavy drinker after a relationship breakdown but had been seven years sober, the inquest heard. 

South Wales Police PC Ben Evans told investigators: ‘Simon’s friend said that he had not taken any drugs the night before to his knowledge.

‘Officers did not find any evidence of drug use. While Simon’s death was not suspicious it was unexplained.’

An inquest into Shank's death on October 19, 2020 is being held at the Swansea Guildhall last week

An inquest into Shank's death on October 19, 2020 is being held at the Swansea Guildhall last week

An inquest into Shank’s death on October 19, 2020 is being held at the Swansea Guildhall last week 

Shanks was found still clutching the Xbox controller after an overnight session of gaming with a friend (file photo)

Shanks was found still clutching the Xbox controller after an overnight session of gaming with a friend (file photo)

Shanks was found still clutching the Xbox controller after an overnight session of gaming with a friend (file photo)

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