Inquest into death of Burnley man (32)

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A Padiham man who suffered from a genetic disorder was found dead at home.

An inquest into the death of Mr Christian Howarth (32), of Rycliffe Street, found he died of natural causes.

The hearing, at Burnley Coroner’s Court, was told Mr Howarth had Stickler syndrome, a hereditary disease which meant he had 50% less collagen in his body. The illness, which also affects other members of his family, also caused him to suffer from arthritis, spina bifida, problems with his eyesight and chronic fatigue.

But, despite his health issues, he was looking forward to starting a new job as a taxi driver. His body was discovered at his home by a friend who became concerned when he had not seen him for a number of days. Pathologist Dr Abdul Al-Dawoud told the inquest said there was some evidence Mr Howarth had some damage to his heart, called floppy mitral valve disease, which could have been caused by his condition.

East Lancashire Coroner Mr Richard Taylor said: “It’s not 100% satisfactory of course because we don’t know for sure. It’s a natural cause and the verdict I will return is one of natural causes.”