A FATHER-of-two, whose body was found in the River Severn, turned to drink after losing his job, an inquest heard.

Andrew Cooper, aged 44, of Stourport, suffered with alcohol problems over the last year after he had lost his job and suffered from financial problems, Worcestershire Coroners Court heard.

His body was found in the River Severn, Holt Fleet, near Worcester, on March 17 – three months after he was reported missing from his home in Stourport.

He had returned to work but was unable to beat his addiction.

He was last seen at home on the morning of January 4, but did not show up for work that day.

His body was found in the river by a fisherman and later recovered by emergency services.

A post-mortem examination found a large quantity of alcohol in his system.

The inquest heard Mr Cooper had sought help from his GP and alcohol recovery charity SWANSELL – and completed a 14-day stay at a detoxification rehabilitation centre.

Mr Cooper’s wife, Ceri Cooper, told the inquest her husband had had suicidal thoughts in the past – due to his addiction to alcohol and financial troubles.

Mrs Cooper said: "His health was affected when he lost his job at the end of August 2015 – it was such a big change he became depressed. He turned to drink.

"He did not want to look for a new job straight away so he started drinking heavily and spent more time in bed sleeping. He became disinterested in things he found happiness in. He started to lose himself.

At the start of 2016, he stopped drinking but had a seizure and was taken to admitted to hospital for a chemical detox.

He returned to drinking and by April said he "could not cope" and was suicidal. He walked towards a railway bridge but was deterred by a family member.

She added that Mr Cooper was fined for drink driving in May 2016, but this gave him the motivation to look for work and he found work through an agency in the August.

Mrs Cooper said: "He took two weeks off sick to go to rehab at beginning of December. That changed him and he was angry. He was really frustrated that he was addicted to alcohol.

"By December 21, he started drinking. He did not want a life without alcohol really. On January 3, his son decided he was moving out of the family home which upset Andy. He understood why but he was upset that it was all his fault.

"On January 4, we knew if he did not go back to work he would be fired. I did everything I could to get him to and I was angry with him that morning. He told us he was going to work and I believed him."

David Shellard, a substance abuse worker at SWANSELL, said that he saw Mr Cooper at an appointment in December after his stay at the centre and Mr Cooper had told him he felt "fantastic" and was pleased with how the detox had gone. Mr Shellard said they made an appointment to meet on January 11, as the charity shut down over the Christmas period.

Mr Shellard added: "He never said anything to me about wanting to harm himself or take his own life. I never had any reason to doubt him."

PC Matthew Harris, of Kidderminster CID, told the inquest Mr Cooper was seen on CCTV walking near Ashton Manor Brewery at 8.20am the day he went missing and he was later seen buying a bottle of vodka from a shop on Worcester Road, in Stourport. His rucksack was found the following day near to the riverbank in Stourport.

At the inquest, Mrs Cooper said: "He was happy, bright, kind and looked after his family. He was smart and intelligent, and had a wide group of friends.

"He loved his family and had a fulfilling job. He was a great person."

Worcestershire senior coroner Geraint Williams, said Mr Cooper died of immersion in water contributed to by alcohol ingestion, and recorded an open verdict into his death.