THE identities of three people linked to a drug death crisis in south Essex have been revealed.

Yesterday Essex Coroner’s Court, based in Chelmsford, heard how 20-year-old Ben Goodburn, 35-year-old Holly Sale and 47-year-old Kelly Sidler all died as a result of drug toxicity.

They were three of the five victims involved in the massive drug death probe, launched by Essex Police last month.

Detectives said they were treated as linked due to the closeness both in time and geography. Yesterday the court heard how Ben, who lived in Benfleet, was found in his bedroom by his mother and was declared dead on July 30.

A post-mortem examination confirmed a cause of death as mixed drug toxicity secondary to acute bronchopneumonia - a condition which causes inflammation of the lungs.

A full inquest into the circumstances surrounding his death will take place on February 13 next year.

Holly Sale, who lived in Westcliff, was found dead by her landlord in her first floor flat where drug residue was also present on July 29.

A cause of death has been recorded as cocaine toxicity and a full inquest into her death will take place on January 23 next year.

Kelly Sidley, from Canvey, was also found unresponsive in her home. An ambulance was called but she was declared dead at the scene.

A cause of death has been recorded as mixed drug toxicity secondary to acute infective exacerbation of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

A documentary inquest into her death is now expected to take place.

Essex Police confirmed last week there were no suspicious circumstances in either case and a criminal investigation into a suspected link between the five deaths has been closed.

Last month, the force issued a stern warning to the community and urged people to avoid using class A drugs after the tragic spate of drug-related deaths.

Cian Daly, 20, from Leigh, was first to be identified and friends and family organised a convoy and fundraiser in his memory last month. The fifth victim has yet to be named.

A man, 36, from London and man, 29, from Grays, were arrested on suspicion of possession with intent to supply class A drugs in connection with the investigation. They have been released on bail.