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Friday, 24 October 2014

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Man found dead in hallway of his west Cumbrian home

A man found dead in his home might have been poisoned by carbon monoxide, an inquest heard.

Police officers forced their way into the home of Thomas Edward Brown’s home, at Gilgarran, near Workington, after concerned family members reported they had not heard from him for 15 days.

The 61-year-old was found lying dead in the hallway of his home.

His body was so badly decomposed he had to be identified by dental examinations.

Investigations were carried out at Mr Brown’s home, at Gilgarran Park, by OFTEC (Oil Firing Technical Association) into his oil fired heating system.

Officers found two defects in the chimney which allowed products of combustion, including carbon monoxide, to spill into the loft space. However, there was no clear evidence to show this was the cause of Mr Brown’s death.

Assistant coroner Robert Chapman returned an open verdict.

He said: “It’s unfortunately the case that when he was found on April 5 he clearly had been dead for some time. Unfortunately, it was not possible for the pathologist to take any blood or urine or any pieces of tissues to be able to come to a conclusion to the reason of his death.

“In particular it wasn’t possible for her to determine whether he had suffered from carbon monoxide poisoning. It’s a mystery how he died.”

He added: “It is perfectly possible that the cause of Mr Brown’s death was carbon monoxide. It is a possibility. There is no clear evidence as to the cause of Mr Brown’s death.”

The inquest heard from a GP from Distington surgery who said Mr Brown had a history of diabetes and drinking problems.

The inquest heard from Mr Brown’s mother Helen who said her son was born in Middlesbrough.

He gained a scholarship and went to Durham University to study engineering and then study for a PhD. He moved to Springfields in Preston to work with BNFL before working at BNFL at Sellafield, staying there until he retired.

He never married or had any children.

He was a keen motorcyclist and had told his parents he was planning to go to the TT races in the Isle of Man.

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