A WINSFORD man, who suffered from depression due to the pressures of work, was found dead at his home in Winsford.

An inquest into the death of David Boulton, of Dene Drive, concluded that it was the result of an accident.

The single 50-year-old man, who lived alone, was pronounced dead at the scene when police broke into his home after a call from his concerned brother, on Sunday, February 27, this year.

He was found slumped in a dining room chair with a bin liner over his head, surrounded by empty cartridges of nitrous oxide.

Seven cartridges were found empty on the floor along with a get well card.

The police also found further empty cartridges and four helium canisters in Mr Boulton’s kitchen.

The police found no evidence of suicide and said that a fresh loaf of bread found in the kitchen indicated Mr Boulton had not intended to take his own life.

The inquest was heard at Crewe Municipal Building on Monday, July 19, where the coroner, Dr Nicholas Rheinberg, said his death was a ‘total accident’.

“Nitrous oxide is sometimes misused to produce a euphoric effect,” he told the court.

“In order to inhale the gas within the container he placed the bin liner over his head to breath in the gas and part of the bin bag has become inhaled.

“Totally accidently Mr Boulton had been asphyxated.

“The presence of the bin bag increased that danger significantly.”

In a statement to the coroner, Mr Boulton’s GP told how he had lived in isolation, often working alone for long hours as a railway signal man in Crewe.

He had been treated for depression since 2002 and struggled to cope with the stress of work.

By 2005 he told his GP he felt under extreme pressure by his management when he was working in Plumley and had developed difficulty in breathing due to stress.

He stayed off work for most of 2008 but had returned to work full time in January and was looking forward to taking early retirement this year.

Speaking at the inquest his friend and long term work colleague, Richard Clarke, said he was not surprised to hear Mr Boulton had helium cylinders in his home.

“He used to be into astronomical photography so I knew he had the cylinders in the house.

“He’d not give me any inclination he was going to kill himself.”

Recording a verdict of accidental death by 1A asphyxia, Dr Rheinberg, said: “With the history of depression and details described of a bin liner it would be easy to come to the conclusion that Mr Boulton had taken his own life.

“It was a result of actions taken by Mr Boulton but I do not find that he intended to harm himself.”