Man’s death remains a mystery

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MYSTERY still surrounds the death of a man who was found in bed at home aged just 40 following an inquest.

Bolton Coroner’s Court heard the body of Lee Jones, from Leigh, was found in a state of decomposition which meant it was difficult for the authorities to carry out the necessary tests to establish the cause of death.

Mr Jones, of Siddow Common, was discovered at his home on August 16 2014 after police were called to the address by a friend concerned he may have taken his own life.

Although post-mortem tests found methadone and an anti-histamine in his tissue samples, it was impossible to say how much of the substances he had taken or when.

An investigation by Greater Manchester Police (GMP) found no evidence of third party involvement or any suspicious circumstances surrounding Mr Jones’ death, although some of his friends told the police he seemed to be drinking more, not leaving the house and taking less care of himself in the months leading up to his death.

However, his mother Kathleen said that when she last saw him on July 14 last year, there was no sign he was unhappy or distressed.

She said: “He was fine, his usual self. We had a lovely afternoon together and he hugged me when I left. We said we loved each other as we always did.”

The court heard Mr Jones had a happy and normal childhood and was a keen music fan, soundproofing a room in his flat so he could play his instruments and speaking to his mother about downloading music from the internet during their final meeting.

A statement from Mr Jones’s GP confirmed he had not been prescribed methadone and nor was he on a treatment programme involving the drug.

No drug paraphernalia was found at Mr Jones’s flat, and pathologist Dr David Barker found no evidence of drug use on the body. The only hand-written notes in the flat related to health regimes for his diet and exercise.

Assistant coroner for Manchester West Simon Jones dismissed completely the possibility of suicide and said the evidence left him unable to reach anything other than an open verdict.

Mr Jones said: “I am not able to say what the cause of Lee’s death was. I intend to record that he was found at his home address on Siddow Common on August 16 2014, where he had died earlier.

“For the avoidance of all doubt, there is no evidence whatsoever that he took his own life.

Mr Jones went on to record an open verdict.