THE SISTER of a man found dead at a Burnley drinking den has criticised the police investigation into what happened.

Patricia Hesketh said police had ‘messed up’ after East Lancashire coroner Richard Taylor delivered a narrative conclusion into the death of her brother, Brendan Lally.

He concluded that Mr Lally, 51, died from serious head and neck injuries but that there was ‘insufficient evidence’ to determine whether or not he had been pushed or had fallen down a flight of stairs.

Lancashire police said they had carried out ‘a full and thorough investigation’ into the death at Reed Street, Burnley, on October 31 last year.

Five people were arrested on suspicion of murder after Mr Lally’s death, but no-one was ever charged.

Speaking outside Burnley Town Hall after the conclusion of the four-day inquest, Mrs Hesketh said she had filed an official complaint with Lancashire police regarding their inquiries.

She said: “I am disappointed. I’m concerned that they weren’t listening to what I told them.

“I’m totally not satisfied with how they’ve conducted the case. I’m not letting it go.

“It took them two searches of the house to recover evidence and they didn’t seem bothered at all.

Pathologist Dr Naomi Carter said she found ‘a great deal of injuries’ to Mr Lally’s body during his post-mortem, including a deep cut to the left side of his head consistent with landing on smashed glass.

Reaching his narrative conclusion, Mr Taylor said some evidence he had heard was ‘unreliable’ or of ‘very little use’, and that none of it assisted him in finding out what had happened at the top of the stairs to cause Mr Lally’s fall.

He said: “Mr Lally suffered fatal head and neck injuries having gone head first down stairs under the influence of alcohol.

“There is insufficient evidence to determine if he was pushed or if he fell.”

A Lancashire police spokesman said: “A detailed scientific examination was carried out at the scene and a large number of witnesses were interviewed.

“Numerous lines of inquiry were also completed. However, no evidence was found to support the theory that there had been a criminal act culminating in the death of Mr Lally.”