Hapton lecturer had been plagued by ear problem — (Lancashire Telegraph)

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Lancashire Telegraph

Thursday 10th January 2013 in News .

Lancashire Telegraph: David Bowden

A LECTURER who suffered from a debilitating disorder of the inner ear and other health problems died suddenly at home, an inquest heard.   David Bowden, 59, who was described as ‘witty, jovial and a great storyteller’ was found by his stepson at his home in Hameldon Close, Hapton, on August 1 last year.

A coroner’s hearing sitting at Burnley Magistrates’ Court heard Mr Bowden, who lived alone after separating from his wife Sheila three years earlier, had suffered from advanced Ménière’s disease for the last few years of his life.

This disorder affected his hearing and balance which would often lead to a spinning sensation, nausea and insomnia.

Surgery to help with the condition was unsuccessful and he had been told a second, extremely rarely performed operation would be delayed as he had also been diagnosed with heart problems.

Mr Bowden’s stepson Mark Westwood said that on the day in question he was alerted by a friend who was concerned about his stepfather’s welfare.

When he visited he found him unconscious and paramedics were unable to revive him.

A post-mortem examination found that Mr Bowden had alcohol in his system along with quantities of two prescribed anti-depressant drugs. In isolation none of the substances were likely to be fatal.

However, the cause of death was given as the combined toxic effects of the alcohol and drugs.   Mr Westwood, said: “Prior to his death he was upbeat, chirpy and telling jokes.

“I had no concerns about his mental welfare, though he had been diagnosed with depression he never displayed any signs.”

The court heard that friends of Mr Bowden’s had said that he had been looking forward to retirement in the autumn and had recently arranged to go to music concerts.

He also left daughter Holly and son Jack.

Recording an open verdict, East Lancashire coroner Richard Taylor said there was no evidence that Mr Bowden intended to take his own life.