A MAN whose death sparked a murder investigation most likely died by accident when he fell on an "unyielding" surface after drinking alcohol, an inquest has found.

Matthew Richard Williams, 37, died at his property in Heatherbank, Gobowen, shortly before 7.20am on April 21, 2021.

Emergency services were called to the property after ambulance staff alerted police to Mr Williams – who was found over a sink – leading to a murder investigation.

One person was arrested but later released after circumstances around the death were deemed not to have been suspicious.

In an inquest held at Shirehall in Shrewsbury on Thursday, January 6, Shropshire coroner John Ellery explained to Mr Williams’s family that because his death was initially being treated as murder, a Home Office pathologist was used.

Dr Brett Lockyer, from the Home Office, reported that there was evidence of serious head injuries, fresh from the fall, but also pre-existing bruising.

He also stated the toxicology report into Mr Williams showed he had 379 milligrams of alcohol in his blood – which for comparative purposes is about 4.27 times the legal limit for driving.

It was acknowledged that Mr Williams was a heavy drinker but Mr Ellery noted that this reading was high for him, and the pathologist report also noted evidence of attempts to give up alcohol.

Dr Lockyer asserted that he believed the cause of death was more likely the deceased’s head falling onto ‘an unyielding’ surface such as the corner of a worktop or a heavy table, similar to one he had in his living room.

He also stated that while a strike to the head could not be ruled out, the contrecoup – the injuries occurring on the other side of the brain to where the head was struck – suggested more that it was fall.

Dr Lockyer also noted the presence of a damaged laptop which could have been linked as a murder weapon but told police to not view it this way because Mr Williams's injuries were not consistent with its potential use.

Mr Ellery accepted the report and concluded that Mr Williams’s death was an accident with a fall caused by acute alcohol intoxication and contributed to by alcohol related liver disease.

He added: “No one saw what happened so we’re trying to make sense of what we gather and that to me is a likely scenario.”