A BOLTON man found on a river bank in Moses Gate Country Park after an argument with his mum on New Years Eve died from hypothermia, an inquest heard.

Mark Wilcock, of Harrowby Street, Farnworth, was found unresponsive by a birdwatcher in a secluded area of the park, close to the Hall Lane entrance, at around 1.30pm on New Years Day.

Mountain rescue were called to the scene after paramedics were unable to access him - and he was immediately transferred to Royal Bolton Hospital.

While in hospital care, as his body was ‘warming up’, Mr Wilcock suffered a cardiac arrest, and despite the best efforts of medical staff, he died during the early hours of January 2, aged 35.

Bolton Coroners Court heard how Mr Wilcock had got into an argument with his mother the previous evening, after she had asked him to help her ‘prepare some salmon’.

He later ‘stormed off’ on his bike and did not return, prompting concerned family members to phone police for assistance.

Traces of ketamine were found in a toxicology sample, and it remains unknown whether this was taken by Mr Wilcock, or whether it had been administered by his rescuers.

Mr Wilcock regularly smoked cannabis, and suffered from a number of mental health issues, the court heard.

His mother Dorothy Smith said: “He started becoming very anxious about things when he was around 18 years old.

“His behaviour was quite challenging. He didn’t like anything that interrupted his routine.

“We bickered every day but I loved him - and I miss him dearly.”

The former Harper Green High pupil was unemployed at the time of his death, the court heard. But he had previously worked as an apprentice joiner after leaving school.

The medical cause of death was given by pathologist Dr Patrick Waugh as one of exposure and hypothermia.

Police did not find any evidence of third-party involvement, and no suspicious circumstances were found at the scene.

Assistant coroner Simon Nelson, who returned an accidental death conclusion, said: “There are still some questions that remain unanswered, like the whereabouts of Mark’s bike - it’s unusual that it hasn’t been recovered.

“And it is still unknown whether he had taken ketamine on purpose, or whether it had been administered by Mountain Rescue.

“However, experts believe this would not have affected the outcome - and I do not believe he intended the consequences of his actions.”