A FORMER pub landlord from Southampton died after falling into the River Itchen.
The body of Martyn Barnaby was dragged from the water at Northam two days after he was reported missing.
At an inquest in Southampton the coroner ruled the 52-year-old was likely to have slipped into the water while walking home intoxicated.
The inquest heard how Mr Barnaby left his home in Manor Quay, Quayside Road, on the morning of March 29 to watch Saints play at St Mary’s Stadium.
After the game he headed to Northam Social Club in Northam Road and contacted wife Janine about his whereabouts.
But she was forced to report him missing when he failed to return the next morning.
PC Chris Orr told the inquest how Mr Barnaby had been spotted “heavily intoxicated” leaving the Junction Inn Pub in St Denys at midnight.
His body was later found two days later at Burnley Wharf, Marine Parade, by a boat repair yard worker. He was pronounced dead at the scene and identified from a wallet and mobile phone in his pockets.
PC Orr told the inquest how Mr Barnaby had lost his job working as a property manager the day before he went missing.
He had previously been in danger of losing their home due to debts from running a pub in Somerset.
Before that he ran the St Denys Pub with business partner Liz Weeks.
Mrs Barnaby told officers he had not disclosed the threat of redundancy or sacking with her, but she had insisted he had never previously spoken of harming himself.
PC Orr said the lack of injuries and the presence of valuables ruled out that he was attacked by someone.
But he added that the path running alongside the wharf was only three to four metres wide and suggested he could have fallen into the water accidentally rather than on purpose.
He told the inquest: “It’s possible that his intoxicated state caused him to fall into the water.”
Pathologist Dr Sanjay Jogai said Mr Barnaby’s bloodstream contained alcohol over three times the drink driving limit.
But he said it was more likely Mr Barnaby suffered a heart attack from the shock of plunging into the water.
Putting his death down to immersion in cold water under the influence of alcohol, he said: “He either tripped or slipped into the water and that can cause a cardiac arrest.”
Southampton deputy coroner Gordon Denson recorded an accidental death and said: “He wasn’t thinking straight and he could have either staggered or slipped.”