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Tuesday, 29 July 2014

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Carlisle man found dead in front of television

A man who was found dead in front of his television had a history of heavy drinking, an inquest has heard.

Anthony Gordon Barker, 42, was found in his house on Reeth Road, Morton, Carlisle, by his father Gordon on August 23 last year.

Mr Barker, known as Tony, was surrounded by empty vodka and wine bottles, and the blank television screen was still on.

An inquest heard that Mr Barker was known to drink heavily, but a bout of depression 18 months before his death made matters much worse.

He had been a process worker at McVities, but his increased drinking meant he had to quit this job, sell his house and move into rented accommodation.

His father said: “He always liked a drink, but that time it got hold of him and he couldn’t get out of it.

“When he came to see us he was still drinking but he would cut back a bit.

“We did everything to help.

“We went to see the doctor, went to CADAS (Cumbria Alcohol & Drug Advisory Service), and got his doctor to go round and see if he could help.

“He always said he needed help but when we got him help he couldn’t go through with it.”

The inquest heard that there was no evidence that Mr Barker had mental health problems.

He was found sitting on the floor in a tidy room with bottles neatly stacked around him.

A pathologist found that he had 280 milligrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of blood, about three-and-a-half times the drink-driving limit.

Mr Barker had four children and had broken up with a long-term partner around seven years before his death.

His father said that since April 2012 his personality had changed.

“Until the last 18 months he was a normal, decent fellow,” he said.

“He would rather help you than do you a bad turn and he loved his kids.”

Coroner David Roberts recorded a verdict of misadventure.

Mr Roberts said: “There’s no suggestion that he was deliberately drinking to an extent that could cause him harm, but he must have known that he was putting his life at risk by drinking excessively.”

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