The body of a man was so badly decomposed after lying undiscovered in his flat for two months it will never be known how he died.
Former Royal Marine Paul Curtis was found dead at his home in St Martin’s Road, South Shore, around eight weeks after medical experts believe he passed away.
Police finally found the 67-year-old’s body and tracked down his family after a gardener raised the alarm in mid-July, Blackpool Coroner’s Court heard.
Coroner Alan Wilson recorded a narrative verdict after hearing there were no suspicious circumstances.
He told the inquest: “He had been deceased for a number of weeks prior to his body being discovered and there was advanced decomposition.
“Although there was no evidence of trauma or injury, and there was no bleed or broken bones, a medical cause of death could not be ascertained.”
Mr Curtis, who suffered from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), last visited his GP on May 5, around the time he was last seen by his friend Estelle Livesey, the court heard.
Mr Wilson said tests carried out by the GP found Mr Curtis weighed over 21 stone and had a body mass index (BMI) of 41.7, which put him at risk of an early death.
Doctors say a healthy BMI is between 18.5 and 25.
“The death was reported to the coroner’s office by PC Kenneth Armstrong from Blackpool Police, who had been called by gardener Steven Berry, who had not seen Mr Curtis for some time,” Mr Wilson said.
“There was no signs of disturbance, personal belongings were found in the property, and the door was secure.
“Letters had piled up behind the door, including invoices for gardening services.
“After leaving the premises, PC Armstrong was spoken to by Estelle Livesey, who was his friend and had not seen him since May.
“She provided some assistance which led to contact being made with the family of Mr Curtis.
“I pass on the condolences of everybody here to them.”
In an obituary notice, Mr Curtis’ family said: “Paul will be very sadly missed and always loved by all his family and friends.”
A funeral service for Mr Curtis was held at Carleton Crematorium in August.
Donations in his memory can be made to the Blackpool, Fylde, and Wyre Royal Marines Association.