‘Larger than life’ man died of drug overdose

Oxford County Hall
Oxford County Hall

A well known Banbury character found unresponsive in a town centre public toilet died a drug related death, a coroner heard.

An inquest held at Oxford County Hall last Wednesday, heard how Anthony ‘Tony’ Broadbere, 47, of Middle Barton Road, Duns Tew, was found unresponsive in the public toilet in Banbury’s Bridge Street, at 11am on August 1 last year.

Mr Broadbere, who was also known as ‘Budgie’, was pronounced dead at the Horton General Hospital at 12.58pm the same day. Post mortem and toxicology reports revealed the cause of death was a heroin overdose.

A statement from his GP which was read out in court stated Mr Broadbere has been drug dependent since 1994.

The court heard how Mr Broadbere and a friend had been walking around the town centre earlier that morningbefore entering the toilet together, both carrying heroin.

While inside, Mr Broadbere had taken the drug and then fallen to the floor. The friend then alerted staff at the nearby Specsavers store and who called an ambulance.

Mr Broadbere was well known in the town centre where he spent a lot of time with his beloved dog, the Bull Mastiff Sandy.

Nigel Deakin, who manages the Beacon Centre at St Mary’s Church on Horse Fair said despite health problems and recent battles with drink and drugs, Mr Broadbere would always light up a room.

He said: “He was quite a giver and a positive chap. One minute he would be balancing a walking stick on his chin, the next he would be playing piano. He was very jovial and was always ready to have a laugh about things. He was a bit of a showman, he liked people to notice him and was a real larger than life character.”