A RETIRED hospital porter who drowned in the River Lavant was a ‘strong character who got on with life and never wanted to be a problem’, an inquest has heard.
Kenneth Paine, 68, died after falling into the river just outside his home in Tozer Way, Chichester, on January 11. Police were called that morning to the river after Mr Paine was found by passers-by.
He was wearing a dressing gown, jeans, T-shirt and slippers. He lived alone in his home next to the river.
His inquest was held on Tuesday (April 7) at Edes House, in Chichester.
Previously, he was diagnosed with lung cancer and was due to have an operation on January 21.
The door to his home was open and the inquest heard it appeared he had gone outside to have a smoke.
Mr Paine was in regular contact with his three brothers and three sisters, with all six attending the inquest.
Senior coroner for West Sussex Penelope Schofield recorded a narrative conclusion, saying Mr Paine died as a result of falling in the river.
She said he had been suffering from depression but there was no direct evidence to suggest he had taken his own life.