A NELSON man found dead at his home had been there for ‘at least 72 hours’, an inquest heard.

Stephen Robert Plumb’s body was discovered slumped behind the front door of his rented house in Pine Street by his landlord on February 23.

The father-of-four had a history of alcohol problems which stemmed from the death of his mother’s death and were exacerbated by the collapse of his marriage in 2009, Burnley Coroner’s Court heard.

A statement read out on behalf of one of Mr Plumb’s neighbours said before his death, the 52-year-old needed the aid of crutches to walk after falling down a flight of stairs.

Coroner Richard Taylor also heard a statement from PC Paul Foster, who was called to Pine Street when Mr Plumb’s landlord reported he was unable to access the property shortly after midday on February 23.

They found Mr Plumb on the floor with his crutches surrounding him.

Jean Plumb said her husband’s alcohol problems dated back to the death of his mother and an inability to get a job he enjoyed.

After their separation, he was diagnosed with liver damage and served a short prison sentence, the inquest heard.

In her statement, Mrs Plumb said: “He would resort to drinking instead of seeking help.

“It began to impact on his physical and mental health. He couldn’t walk or eat properly.

“As a result of his drinking, we all suffered.”

Mr Plumb was diagnosed with liver damage and ‘pestered’ his wife for money before the family ceased contact a year ago.

Consultant pathologist, Dr Walid Salman, who carried out the post-mortem examination, said he could not find a definite medical cause of death because Mr Plumb had been dead for so long.

Delivering a narrative conclusion, Mr Taylor said: “It must have been very distressing for you all to see a father and husband deteriorate the way he did, and there doesn’t appear to be anything you could do about it.

“You clearly tried for many years, but the alcohol overtook his life and you have my sympathies and sincere condolences for your loss.

“He had a significant alcohol addiction and had been dead for some time. The medical cause of death remains unascertained.”