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Saturday, 25 October 2014

Body of Backbarrow man, 59, lay undiscovered

A MAN whose badly decomposed body was found after he died alone at home could have been there for more than three months, an inquest heard.

The decomposition of 59-year-old Andrew Robin Rigby’s body was so bad the pathologist was unable to provide a cause of death.

At Friday’s inquest at Barrow Town Hall, Mr Ian Smith, South and East Cumbria coroner, said he was left with no option but to record an open verdict.

Mr Smith said identification of Mr Rigby’s body had to be established by looking at the credit cards in his possession.

He said it had been impossible to get samples to send for a DNA check because the body was so badly decomposed.

Mr Smith said the last contact with Mr Rigby that anyone was aware of was on July 3. Nothing is then known until his body was discovered in his Backbarrow home on October 19.

Mr Smith said: “It was clearly a long time – four weeks, eight weeks, 10 weeks, it’s impossible to say. The pathologist did the examination as best he could.”

The coroner said there was nothing to indicate a third party was involved or that Mr Rigby was attacked.

The house was found in cluttered state with discarded whisky and gin bottles inside.

There was nothing suspicious in terms of overturned furniture or any sign of a struggle.

Mr Smith said his family had confirmed Mr Rigby had a long history with alcohol and a severe drink problem – and police had taken him home in a drunken state on previous occasions. The coroner added there was no evidence of brain damage or a heart attack, but, due to the decomposition, it would have been difficult to judge that properly.

Mr Smith concluded: “There is nothing that suggests to me anything other than he was at home and he died at home with nobody else present and there was no intervention of any kind, criminal or otherwise. Death could have occurred for any number of reasons.”

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