Norfolk

Ex-Navy engineer Robert Worthington died homeless in churchyard

St Mary's Church in Diss
Image caption Robert Worthington, 47, was found unresponsive in the grounds of St Mary's Church

A former Royal Navy engineer and paramedic had found himself homeless and died in a church graveyard, an inquest heard.

Robert Worthington, 47, was found unresponsive in the grounds of St Mary's Church, in Diss town centre, Norfolk, on 30 April 2019.

The inquest heard he had a history of heavy drinking which led him to losing his job as a paramedic in 2011.

Mr Worthington was described as an "amazing" man who was "much-loved".

The inquest at Carrow House in Norwich heard he had worked as a helicopter engineer for the Royal Navy before becoming a paramedic in 2002.

He struggled with alcohol dependency from 2008 but struggled to engage with alcohol support services.

He was never drunk while on duty for the East of England Ambulance Service, the inquest was told.

Image caption Mr Worthington's body was found by workers cutting grass at the churchyard

Workers cutting grass at the churchyard found Mr Worthington's body alongside a bag of belongings and a sleeping bag.

He had a large gash on the back of his head but a post-mortem examination found the injury did not cause his death.

The pathologist's report said he died from hypothermia and alcohol intoxication.

In a statement from his wife Helen, from whom he had separated, he was described as a "loving son, husband and father" and "much-loved and respected by former colleagues".

She said he was an "amazing" man and was sad his life had taken such a decline.

Norfolk senior coroner Jacqueline Lake concluded Mr Worthington's death was alcohol-related.

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