Death of Shropshire man investigated as possible murder was accidental, says coroner

A Shropshire man whose death was investigated as a possible murder died accidentally, a coroner has recorded.

Matthew Richard Williams, aged 37, of Heather Bank, Gobowen, had been found with a head injury over the sink in the kitchen of his home on April 21.

West Mercia Police were called to the scene by ambulance staff. Officers launched an investigation into the circumstances as a potential murder and arrested a man, whom they interviewed over the course of several days.

Senior Shropshire and Telford Coroner John Ellery was told that Home Office pathologist Dr Brett Lockyer was called in to examine the circumstances but that the nature of his injury effectively ruled out murder.

Mr Williams' family, who were sitting in the court at Shirehall, Shrewsbury, on Thursday, heard that he had suffered a "contrecoup" injury, where the effects reverberated to the other side of his head. The injury was consistent with falling and hitting his head against a table but not with being hit by a laptop.

Pathologist Dr Lockyer found that Mr Williams' blood contained a high level of alcohol. He concluded that his death was caused by a head injury and acute alcohol intoxication. Mr Williams also was found to have had alcohol-related liver disease.

Coroner Mr Ellery concluded that the "most likely scenario" was that Mr Williams had died as a result of a combination of alcohol and through hitting his head on the edge of a table in the living room.

He recorded a verdict of accidental death.

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