A BOLTON College worker was found hanged in his own home just weeks after he had been shortlisted for a national award.

Karl Mortimer, who worked as an eLearning technologist at the college, was found dead at his home in Lincoln Road, Heaton, on January 16, an inquest heard.

The 36-year-old had spent the evening of January 12 at a friend’s house but, after leaving, was not seen by anyone until his step-father found him slumped behind his bedroom door four days later.

Family members described Mr Mortimer, who lived alone, as a "happy chappy" who was "looking forward to everything that was going to happen".

The inquest at Bolton Coroner's Court heard he had been part of a team at the college which had been nominated for a national award for a project they had worked on.

In February, he was due to join colleagues at an award ceremony at the Grosvenor Hotel in London to find out if they had won.

It was revealed that Mr Mortimer had no health issues prior to his death, but had previously been diagnosed with depression.

He was described as an avid film fan and had graduated with a degree in the discipline at the University of Central Lancashire.

Mr Mortimer also volunteered at Urban Outreach in Bolton where he worked with homeless people.

Dr Patrick Ward, a pathologist at Royal Bolton Hospital, gave the cause of death as hanging and reported that "a substantial quantity of alcohol" had been found in Mr Mortimer’s system at the time of his death.

Paying tribute to her nephew, his auntie Linda Smith told the court she had last seen him on Christmas Day and that he had appeared to be "so happy".

She added: “He was just Karl, this happy chappy. He was looking forward to everything that was going to happen.

“There was not an inkling at all that there were any problems. It is just unbelievable. It’s a complete shock.”

Recording a narrative conclusion, area coroner Alan Walsh said: “Karl died as a consequence of self-suspension by ligature but his intentions at the time remain unclear. I am not sure he intended to end his own life.”

He told his family: “He was clearly a very intelligent, articulate and successful young man.

“For him to have received a national award and had all that to look forward to, it is enormously sad that he should then die in these circumstances."