A “LOVELY, kind and considerate big brother” died after being suffocated by a pillow, following an epileptic seizure.

Ryan Barstow, 38 was discovered lay on his front, with his face in a pillow at his home in Richard Gwyn Close, Westhoughton on November 30, 2018.

Mr Barstow had suffered from epilepsy for at least 13 years, which his sister believes was brought on by a serious assault.

In April, 2003, Mr Barstow was assaulted, leaving him with bruising and swelling to the left eye, injuries to his cheek and concussion.

Mr Barstow’s sister, Jade Barstow told an inquest at Bolton Coroner’s Court that the assault “ruined his life and changed his future”.

He developed epilepsy and lost his job as a result - due to no longer being safe to work at heights.

Medical records showed that Mr Barstow had struggled with alcoholism since 2001 and apparently his drinking became worse following the incidents.

Miss Barstow said she last spoke to her brother four days before his death and planned to see him on the day he died, but had to rearrange.

She described him as a “lovely, kind, considerate big brother” but said that he never overcame the effects of the assault.

Dr Patrick Waugh, a pathologist at Royal Bolton Hospital described how Mr Barstow was found with his face down in a pillow, with his arms folded in front of his chest. He explained that when people have epileptic fits, they can often become drowsy and end up in a position where they are at risk of being starved of oxygen.

Toxicology reports showed that alcohol, cannabis and anti-epileptic drugs were in Mr Barstow’s system.

Mr Waugh recorded the cause of death as positional asphyxia and added that alcohol may have been a contributory factor

Janet Rigby, a specialist epilepsy nurse said that Mr Barstow listed stress and alcohol use as his two main triggers for seizures, although no medical evidence presented during the inquest could confirm a direct link between the assault on Mr Barstow and his epilepsy.

Simon Nelson, assistant coroner Greater Manchester West concluded: “Mr Barstow died of positional asphyxia after one or more epileptic seizures, which may have been initially precipitated after he was the victim of an unlawful assault in April, 2003. Alcohol intoxication was a contributory factor.”

Addressing Mr Barstow’s family, he added: “He clearly had a very difficult life and you clearly have some very special memories. “