AN INQUEST has opened into the death of pensioner at the centre of a murder investigation.

Winchester Coroner's Court heard Peter Dunnings was found dead at his home in Boundary Road, Bursledon, on December 3.

Home Office forensic pathologist Dr Basil Purdue gave a preliminary cause of death for the 73-year-old as the combined effects of acute alcohol intoxication and a head injury.

As previously reported, a 63-year-old woman and a 38-year-old man were arrested on suspicion of murder in December after the incident, which police say took place between 10.30pm on Sunday, December 2 and around 12.45am on Monday, December 3.

A Hampshire Constabulary spokesman has now confirmed the pair have been released from bail, but remain under investigation.

Speaking at the time, neighbours told the Echo of their “total disbelief” and said the house was occupied by a couple and that a younger man had moved in just over a month ago.

Patricia Peacey, 63, who lives in Boundary Road, said: “I only knew him to say hello to and I never noticed anything suspicious.

“I’m in total disbelief about it, really, and I really don’t know what to believe at the moment.

“I feel uneasy because I don’t know what’s going on.”

A neighbour who did not to be named added: “I didn’t know him that well.

“The family kept themselves to themselves.

“There was a younger guy living there who, as far as I’m aware, was the woman’s son.

“He moved in a few weeks ago.”

Mandy Meade has lived in the road for 17 years, and said: “There’s never been any trouble here.

“I would say hello to him or his wife if I saw them in the street, he was always polite to me.”

Brian Gormin, a resident of Maple Close for 42 years, added: “I used to see him out and about and he seemed nice.

“I was shocked to hear the news.

“We keep ourselves to ourselves around here.”

Senior coroner Grahame Short adjourned the inquest until August 12.