A retired textile worker who was found dead in the Leeds-Liverpool Canal in Rishton had taken a ‘10 times fatal’ drug overdose, an inquest heard.
Brian Prescott, 52, was spotted in the canal by a man and his wife as they took a walk along the tow path between Harwood Road and Cut Lane.
Police and CSI officers were later called to the scene at around 7am on August 18 and found a small black holdall with bank details, his shoes and blood on a nearby concrete ramp.
A post-mortem examination found that Mr Prescott, of Sands Court, Rishton, had four-and-a-half times the legal drink driving limit of alcohol in his system and had taken a ‘toxic’ level of drugs.
In a statement read out at the inquest, his brother-in-law Vincent Wright said Mr Prescott was a ‘heavy drinker’ and would ‘return back to my home at all hours very drunk’.
The inquest heard how Mr Wright had recently said to him ‘what are you going to do Brian when I pop my cloggs?’ and his reply was ‘I’ll go and top myself’.
Peter Smithson, who was walking with his wife along the canal path, said they ‘saw something floating’ in the canal and ‘stopped for a couple of minutes to see if we could make out exactly what it was’.
In a statement Mr Smithson said he ‘thought it might have been a body’ however his wife thought it was ‘probably an animal or some rubbish wrapped up in something’.
Mr Smithson said he called the police ‘just in case it was a body’ and when he returned to the canal a few hours later it was confirmed by police.
Pathologist Dr Richard Prescott said Mr Prescott had ‘self-inflicted cut marks’ on his body and found his blood was four-and-a-half times the drink drive limit.
He also had taken 10 times the normal level of a drug which was ‘toxic’.
Coroner Michael Singleton recorded a verdict of suicide.
He said: “There is no evidence of any third party involvement but there seems to me to be copious amounts of evidence with regard to an intent to bring about his own demise.
“He has taken large quantities of (a drug), far in excess of anything that one could contemplate as being a reasonable dose and even if one takes more than prescribed simply because of the pain.
“In all the circumstances it seems to me that Mr Prescott intended by his actions to bring about his own demise.”