Death of 55-year-old Chichester man unexplained

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THE death of a Chichester man remains unexplained as the coroner recorded an open verdict at his inquest.

Peter Belcher, 55, of Millfield Close, was found dead by a neighbour on July 17.

At the inquest on Tuesday (September 17), the coroner Elisabeth Bussey-Jones heard when police found the body in a highly decomposed state at Mr Belcher’s home.

Mr Belcher had been last seen by his neighbour about ten days before, at the beginning of July.

When police made their enquiries, neighbours described Mr Belcher as a ‘loner’ who ‘did not socialise much’.

A post mortem into the death was inconclusive, as the body was too decomposed to analyse.

There were concerns from the police officer at the scene that a head injury may have been to blame because of the amount of blood at the scene.

But the post-mortem showed there were no fractures to the skull, suggesting there was no serious head injury involved.

The inquest heard from Mr Belcher’s daughter Saffron Wentworth, 19, who said he was a researcher and musician, but that they were largely estranged.

Ms Elisabeth Bussey-Jones ruled that there was not enough evidence to give any other verdict other than an open verdict, as the death of Mr Belcher was unascertainable.