A ‘FIT and healthy’ 37-year-old man was found dead at home in Colne on Christmas Day, an inquest heard.

Lance Mandeena, of Portland Street, was discovered collapsed on his bed by his father just before 2pm on December 25, last year.

Mr Mandeena, who worked at Morrisons abattoir, was described as having a close relationship with his family, who were expecting him to celebrate the festivities with him.

When he did not join them on Christmas morning, or answer his phone, they became worried and his father went to his flat, the inquest heard After shouting from the hallway to Mr Mandeena and not receiving a response, his father let himself into his flat with a key and found him dead.

He called an ambulance, but paramedics were not able to revive him.

Mark Williams, assistant coroner for East Lancashire, said: “It must have been a terrible shock at the worst possible time.

“When you last saw him, on December 23, he was fine, laughing and joking with you.

“He was a young man who didn’t drink, smoke or take drugs. He worked hard, doing a physical job, ate a balanced diet and was fit and healthy.”

Dr Walid Salman carried out a post-mortem examination, which was inconclusive. He then proceeded to carry out histology and toxicology tests.

Dr Salman said: “The toxicology tests didn’t show any evidence of drugs or alcohol in his system.

“The liver showed fatty degeneration, which could be found in people who starve for a long time, or are obese, have diabetes, or can be caused by alcohol or drugs.

“It can also occur in people who have died some time ago. But I’m not pointing the finger at any one of these.”

Mr Williams concluded that Mr Mandeena died of natural causes.

He said: “It must have been awfully difficult for you. We may never know the precise reason for his death.”