A Wiltshire man’s cause of death remains “undetermined” after his body was found in his flat, an inquest has heard.

Eric Halstead was found unresponsive on the floor of his downstairs flat, in Sutton Place Devizes, on January 31 after a neighbour became concerned for his welfare.

Emergency services were called, and a fire crew forced entry to the property before paramedics declared the 66-year-old dead at around 2.30pm.

It was discovered that Eric, who lived alone, died some days earlier and, because of this, the cause of death was “unascertainable” during a post-mortem examination.

Eric suffered from several health problems including chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, an issue characterised by persistent respiratory symptoms such as breathlessness and coughing.

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A GP statement read out during an inquest in Salisbury revealed that Eric had been struggling to manage these symptoms.

He also suffered problems with alcohol misuse, and neighbours told police he drank around half a bottle of whiskey a day.

Eric had reportedly not been well prior to his death and was described as “frail” during the inquest.

Area Coroner Ian Singleton recorded a narrative conclusion in which he ruled it was “not possible” to determine the cause or means of Eric’s death.

Help with alcohol misuse can be sought from a GP or the Alcoholics Anonymous helpline on 08009177650.