The sister of a man who died from a cocktail of drink and drugs, days before his 30th birthday, has urged addicts to stay clean.

Ivan Thompson was found dead at a friend's flat in Loughborough, Leicestershire, last month. Toxicology tests showed he had a lethal dose of heroin in his system and his alcohol level was four times the driving limit.

Teresa Smith, 26, of Sutton Avenue, Swain House, Bradford, today spoke of her pride at how her brother had tried to turn his life around.

Ivan was dyslexic and had the reading and writing ability of a nine-year-old, but had got himself a job working as a supervisor for a garden waste disposal firm and had managed to kick his heroin habit for five months.

"He was loving his job and was on top of the world," she said. "But in April he got laid off and it knocked him for six. He came down with depression and was put on anti-depressants."

Teresa said she had spoken to Ivan on the phone days before his death and he had been in good heart and positive.

"He was really looking forward to his birthday and he was very happy because his former girlfriend had had a baby. He had helped to get her to hospital and was really pleased for her because she had been looking forward to becoming a mum."

Ivan, who lived alone at a flat in Loughbor-ough, had "wetted the baby's head" with his former girlfriend's partner but his movements in the hours before his death are unclear. "The information we have had from police has been contradictory and we don't know exactly how Ivan died," Teresa said.

A Leicestershire Police spokesman said they were investigating the circumstances surrounding his death. Three men in their 30s have been arrested in connection with the incident and released on bail pending inquiries.

Teresa said her brother had lived in Bradford for a number of years but had left in 1999 following the death of her seven-week-old son, Robert.

She said: "Robert was an extremely premature baby and had a brain haemorrhage. Ivan couldn't cope with his nephew's death. He got into the wrong crowd and started drinking heavily.

"He went to live with his dad in Leicestershire to get away from the bad influences. He was a determined person who faced up to his problems and tried to deal with them. He tried to better himself and didn't want to go spiralling downhill.

"I was very close to him and when I was losing my baby he sacrificed his job, making set-top boxes in Saltaire, to be with me. He was told he couldn't leave to go to hospital but he walked out and ended up losing his job. That's the sort of caring person he was.

"He was a DIY bloke and taught me how to wallpaper and paint properly. He was a cheeky monkey who knew how to make you laugh and he was a Good Samaritan. Nobody had a bad word for him."

Teresa, who has two sons, James, six, and four-year-old Liam, said: "If he has taken an overdose, for whatever reason, I want people to know that that's what can happen.

"People don't realise what drugs can do. They can kill you and that's what happened to my brother. I want people to know about that so they don't do the same."