The inquest into the death of a Blackburn man who was found 'cold' at his home earlier this year could not be fully concluded due to insufficient evidence about how he died.

Ali Asghar Shabir, 47, had been estranged from his family since 2022 and lived in a ground-floor flat in Preston New Road, Blackburn.

At 7am on Thursday, February 1, Ali phoned his friend and work colleague to say that he was "over the limit" and fell too unwell to come to work.

Blackburn Town Hall heard how his friend of 10 years, Abdullah Jaffar, lived in the same block of flats and visited Ali to pick up keys to the work van which they used for his business in delivering sandwiches.

When Abdullah entered the property, he thought Ali was sleeping as he was unresponsive.

Abdullah did not know what Ali meant when he said he was "over the limit", but when he went up to Ali to see if he was well, he noticed his body was cold, and rang an ambulance at 8.45am.

When the ambulance arrived at 9.30am, Ali was pronounced dead at 9.33am.

Abdullah said: "We were on a job in Huddersfield the night before, and I noticed someone came up to him and asked if he wanted to buy some 'stuff'.

"I saw him pull something out of his pocket and put his hand back in after, but I can't be certain what it was exactly. 

"I thought it may have been drugs as he was smoking cannabis at the time."

Ali had last seen his GP in October 2022, for a range of issues such as drug use, mental health services, and heart disease.

A CT scan and toxicology report were ordered, but both tests produced negative results for drugs and alcohol in Ali's body.

When Coroner Mark Williams asked for the scan to be examined another time, the toxicologists confirmed there was no evidence of alcohol or drugs, but said there 'could have been' an unnamed drug which caused Ali to have a heart attack.

Ali had also seen his GP in 2022 to consult if he needed to be put on statins, a group of medicines that can help lower the level of cholesterol in the blood.

Detective Inspector Iain Czapowski, from Lancashire Police, attended the scene and reported Ali had been sick on the opposite side of the bed before he was found.

He told the court he believed there were no unnatural or unexpected circumstances surrounding Ali's death.

In a statement to the court, Ali's father said although the family knew he had left home, they thought he was happy, saying "he was a fit and healthy man who was well-liked".

Coroner Mark Williams gave an open conclusion, meaning there is insufficient evidence to decide how Ali's death came about, and the case is left open in case further evidence appears. 

He said: "The evidence suggests a drug-related death, but is not supported by scientific findings. 

"We have sadly been unable to establish a conclusion or medical cause of death, despite taking all the possible steps. I offer my condolences to the family."