MYSTERY surrounds the death of a popular Hampshire pensioner who collapsed in his bathroom.

The body of Brian Turnbull was so badly decomposed the pathologist who conducted the post-mortem examination was unable to establish the cause of death.

Mr Turnbull, 76, of Holly Gardens, Milford on Sea, was found dead on September 19 last year after a friend raised the alarm.

An inquest at Winchester Coroner's Court heard the widower was a retired teacher who taught at private schools. He was also a spiritualist and a healer.

His brother Alan said Mr Turnbull was a popular figure who liked to help others.

"Everyone who knew him in the road where he lived respected him. They all have fond memories and the grandchildren absolutely adored him," he said.

Mr Turnbull suffered from mobility problems, sciatica and other health issues including angina and arthritis. The inquest heard he might also have had a gastro-intestinal complaint.

But area coroner Jason Pegg said the condition of Mr Turnbull's body had made it impossible to establish the cause and date of the pensioner's death.

He added: "His lack of mobility resulted in his life not being as he would have liked it to be. The main health issue was sciatica, which had developed over the years together with arthritis."

The pensioner's body was found by PC Mark Roberts, who discovered him lying on his back on the bathroom floor.

Mr Pegg described Mr Turnbull as a "bit of a character", adding: "He was certainly very much loved, not only by his family but by others."

The coroner recorded an open conclusion.