MYSTERY surrounds the cause of death of a disabled man found dead at his home.

An inquest at Bolton Coroner’s Court heard essential tests to determine Denis Jones’ cause of death could not be carried out because of the length of time he had been dead for.

Mr Jones, who had spent time in the armed forces, was discovered at his home in Tarleton Avenue, Atherton, on December 2, after his neighbour Paul Greenfield became worried he had not seen him.

The former security worker, who was born in Chadderton, moved to his home in Tarleton Avenue in 1996, and as his health deteriorated he became dependent on benefits.

His brother, Brydon Jones, who only saw him twice a year but spoke to him regularly over the phone, said he had struggled financially after social services stopped some of his benefits, so often borrowed money to pay for food.

Former colleague and friend Katherine Finney, who had known Mr Jones since 1995, said that when she last spoke to him on the phone on November 24, 2013, he said he had no money and apologised that he could not pay her back for an earlier loan.

She was the last person to speak to him before he was found dead eight days later, although his neighbour Mr Greenfield thought he had seen him on November 26.

Medical records showed Mr Jones had a number of health complaints, including diabetes, pancreatitis and psoriasis — but he also had a long-standing problem with alcohol and had been admitted to hospital for alcohol-related illnesses more than 20 times since 2003.

He also had to use a disability scooter due to chronic limping for which he took morphine, and had claimed incapacity benefits since 2007.

Recording an open verdict, area coroner Alan Walsh said that Mr Jones was “a loner who kept himself to himself” and “neglected himself” by not attending doctors appointments.

He added: “I am able to exclude trauma, third party and some of the natural causes of death that you might find in a man of 58. But there is no evidence what was in his body at the time of his death.”