Builder died of natural causes

A WORTHING builder found dead at home died of natural causes, an inquest at Worthing Magistrate’s Court heard last week.

John William Byrne, 55, was discovered in Avondale Close, Worthing, on July 27 this year after police were called to his flat.

Mr Byrne’s niece Serena Kennedy described her uncle as a single man who was greatly affected by the death of his mother 20 years ago, with whom he had always lived.

Ms Kennedy, of Goring, said: “He started drinking at a young age, first strong lager and latterly whisky. He took his mother’s death very badly and had a nervous breakdown and never fully recovered.”

She visited her uncle’s flat on July 27, worried by his lack of contact and prompted by a phone call from his landlady to say that neighbours were complaining of a smell from the property. Police were then called to the flat.

PC Paul Gwyn of Worthing police confirmed that Mr Byrne was dead when officers arrived at the property and said the builder had been dead for a number of hours or days. “There was a significant amount of blood on tissues around the flat and on Mr Byrne’s bed,” PC Gwyn said.

“The premises were untidy but there were no suspicious circumstances or forced entry.”

A post-mortem carried out by Dr Grant of Worthing Hospital concluded that the decomposition of Mr Byrne’s body meant that the cause of death could not be identified. The coroner, Martin Milward, therefore ruled that Mr Byrne died of natural causes.