Inquest reveals that MMA fan and keen gym-goer Adrian Hinc died alone aged 23 from cocktail of legal-but-non-prescribed drugs in Belfast

A 23-year-old mixed martial arts (MMA) enthusiast died after mixing two kinds of legal drugs together, a coroner has found.

A generic image of an MMA fight, titled 'Arnold Amateur Mixed Martial Arts Competition' by Fight Launch (licensed under Creative Commons 2.0)
A generic image of an MMA fight, titled 'Arnold Amateur Mixed Martial Arts Competition' by Fight Launch (licensed under Creative Commons 2.0)

Both of the drugs - pregabalin and methadone - are legitimately available on the NHS, although neither had been prescribed to Adrian Hinc.

A coroner issued his findings into his death last month, and the News Letter recently obtained a copy of them.

The case is unorthodox in that, according to his family, Adrian (who was Polish) had been a “keen gym-goer”.

Added to that, the cause of death was bronchopneumonia - described in the inquest as “unusual” in a man of his young age.

He was found dead in his room at a men’s hostel at Utility Street, near City Hospital train station in south Belfast.

A man who was friendly with Adrian was the last to see him alive when he visited him in his hostel room in the early hours of September 25, 2021.

Adrian looked pale, he said, and after they spoke for a few minutes, Adrian said he would try to sleep.

The next day Adrian did not answer his door, so staff were alerted.

Police forced entry into the room at about 9.30pm on September 25 and found him on his back in bed.

Several hours later paramedics attended to officially pronounce “life extinct”.

In terms of his medical background, he had attended A&E on June 23 with an overdose of diazepam and thoughts of hanging himself.

On September 2 he booked a telephone GP appointment stating mental health issues were causing poor sleep, but he did not answer the GP’s attempts to call him back.

Stanislav Hinc, Adrian’s father, told the inquest his son had been “a keen gym-goer who enjoyed Mixed Martial Arts”.

He added that “his son previously had an issue with drugs but to his knowledge had sorted himself out, being clean of drugs for five months and appeared healthy and well when he had seen him a few months previously and his mood appeared fine when he last spoke to him a few weeks before his death”.

Coroner Anne-Louise Toal found that his death had been accidental, not suicide.

She said it was caused by “taking a combination of pregabalin and methadone, none of which he had been prescribed by his GP, which in combination led to a fatal bronchopneumonia”.

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