A MAN cooked a pizza and waited over four hours before calling an ambulance for his dead friend.

Ryan Thomas Payne, 29, was last seen watching TV with his friend before being found dead the following morning.

Jeff Payne, Ryan’s father, told Dorset Coroner’s Court at an inquest on March 3 that his son was a “happy go lucky gentleman.”

He said Ryan, who was a warehouse worker, was a hard-working man and described him as a “football encyclopaedia.”

Dale Tappy, Ryan’s friend, said that he and Ryan spent the evening together on July 28, 2023, at Dale’s partner’s address, on Druitt Road in Christchurch, who was away for the weekend.

He said the pair had been friends for around 15 years and last remembers seeing Ryan sitting next to him on the sofa, before finding him dead in the kitchen hours later.

Dale added that he could not find his phone so unlocked Ryan’s mobile to call his own.

DS David Colomb, of Dorset Police, confirmed that this call was made at 9.33am on July 29 but a call to the ambulance was not made until 1.48pm.

Between this time period a number of calls and messages were made to and from Dale’s phone, as well as a number of internet searches including “what to do if you find a dead body.”

Paramedics found Ryan laying upside down on a soda in the living room with a towel, covered in blood, under his head.

Further blood was found in the kitchen.

Dale admitted to moving Ryan after finding him and paramedics declared him officially deceased at 2.05pm, adding that they believed that he had been deceased for a “little while.”

Penny Warner, one of four paramedics on the scene, said while the ambulance service were at the property, Dale was seen picking up suspected drug paraphernalia and moving it to his van.

It was later confirmed by Dorset Police that these were class A drugs.

Daniel Dobson, paramedic, said he smelt food at the scene and when asked Dale removed a pizza from the oven before eating it next to the deceased.

Joshua Reynalds, paramedic, added that he called the police for assistance and said: “I had firmly believed this was a murder and the suspect was still on the scene.”

At the time of the incident a 29-year-old man who was known to Ryan was arrested on suspicion of murder but later released with no charge or further action.

A post mortem by Dr Basil Purdue found a one inch superficial tear to Ryan’s scalp, which is believed to have caused the blood at the scene.

Dr Purdue noted the toxicology of recreational drugs in Ryan’s system but that the drugs were unlikely to have caused his death on their own.

He believes there was an incorrect diagnosis of death when Ryan was found in the kitchen and that his “unusual position” in the living room likely contributed to his death.

“I do not think he was dead", he said.

“I think he was nearly dead and in a bad way, but ending with legs in the air is not a good posture for breathing.”

Senior coroner for Dorset, Rachael Griffin, accepted the medical cause of death of delayed effects of ketamine and codeine as well as postural impairment of respiration.

She concluded that Ryan’s death was drug related.

Ms Griffin added that Ryan’s death should warn others of the dangers of misusing drugs and the effect it can have on not only themselves but their loved ones.