A MAN who drowned in the River Weaver showed no intention of taking his own life beforehand, a coroners’ court heard on Tuesday.

The body of George Burns was spotted at Vale Royal Locks on Sunday, May 19 by a passer-by.

The 54-year-old warehouseman, who lived in Castle, was battling alcohol addiction at the time and had been asked to leave his home because of the impact it was having on the family.

But despite leaving his possessions ‘carefully’ on the side of the locks, an inquest into his death at Crewe Coroners’ Court heard how he showed no indication that suicide was on his mind.

Speaking at the inquest, George’s wife Anne-Marie told of how he used to be a keen walker, however his drinking had led to problems with his legs.

He would frequently have falls and his legs would go stiff if he sat around for too long.

“George had been trying to lower alcohol usage, but it had started to get worse over the past 12 months,” she said.

“I had made an appointment with his GP on the Friday before his death and on Saturday night, we had a long talk about the level of help he needed.

“It was the best conversation we had in a long time.

“George never expressed an intention to end his own life and there was nothing alarming about his behaviour.”

Also speaking at the inquest was George’s sister, Barbara, who again reaffirmed that he had shown no indication of taking his life and he had spoken to her on the phone a day earlier.

“He was stressed about having to move out of the house, but he had known about it for a while,” she said.

“I spoke to him about putting money into his wife’s account to help him, but he said no, as he was never going to see her again.

“It did not strike me at the time and we even spoke about him coming to live with me, but I said not at this stage until he was serious about getting help.”

Barbara noted how George had suffered from seizures in the past when cutting down on alcohol and it was possible that this could have caused him to fall into the river, as toxicology reports found no alcohol in his system.

Evidence provided by detective sergeant John Lyons, who attended the scene following the discovery of the body, told the court how George’s personal items had been ‘carefully’ placed on the river embankment.

These included his mobile phone, glasses, gloves and an empty water bottle.

After examining the body, it was confirmed to be George Burns as he was found with his passport and birth certificate.

No evidence suggested a struggle, any sign of slippage on the embankment or any evidence of him attempting to get out of the river.

Heath Westerman, acting area coroner for Cheshire, concluded that there were too many possibilities, despite thorough investigation, and gave an open verdict on his death.