A pensioner who rejected the help of others and lived without heating for years may have died of hypothermia, a coroner concluded.

Stephen John Fitt was discovered unresponsive and lying face down, on the utility room floor of his Pewsey home, by neighbour Peter Turton on December 30, 2022.

Mr Turton, who called by the house to deliver milk to his neighbour, called 999 and paramedics confirmed the 73-year-old had been found dead at 11.50am.

Police arrived on the scene over an hour later and found no evidence of suspicious circumstances or third-party involvement.

A post-mortem examination revealed Stephen’s skin was in keeping with somebody who had suffered from hypothermia, but also found he may have suffered a cardiac event triggered by hypertensive heart disease, which he had been diagnosed with many years ago.

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Area Coroner Ian Singleton recorded both hypothermia and hypertensive heart disease as causes of death but added it was “not possible to determine” how Stephen came to be on the floor.

As a result, no ruling was made over whether Stephen’s death was accidental or medical.

Coroner Singleton added that recording a conclusion of neglect would not be appropriate, as Stephen showed no signs of emaciation.

Stephen had previously worked as a civil servant and lived in his Eastern Royal home from 1988 until his death.

His son, Jonathan Fitt, told the court his father had “an interesting way of living” but had been on a “slide downhill” for 24 years after his wife left the household.

Mr Fitt said his father had hoped she would return and suffered a downturn in his mental health over the years, causing him to lose “control of the organised chaos” he lived in.

The house had no working central heating system for many years, causing mould to grow in the property, and the windows were left open the day Stephen’s body was found, adding to the cold.

Stephen had hoarding tendencies, according to his son, and attending police officers confirmed the home was not well kept, with stacks of paperwork found in the ground floor rooms.

Mr Fitt added that his father “neglected to care for himself for many years”, but remained independent.

Stephen's son believes he rejected offers of help from multiple agencies as he was scared of being put in care.

He relied on Mr Turton, who checked on him regularly, due to his decreased mobility.

The pair last saw each other on Christmas Day when Mr Turton brought Stephen a Christmas dinner his wife had prepared.