A dad from Bolton described as a "good worker" died aged 51 after struggling with a drug problem for years.

Stephen McGuffie died at Royal Bolton Hospital on January 22 this year, an inquest was told on Monday, June 19.

Mr McGuffie, who had lived on Victory Street in Halliwell, had formerly worked at a funeral directors and was a father of one.

Police coroners officer (PCO) Julie Ann Hyde gave evidence at the inquest, having interviewed Mr McGuffie's sister, Janet McGuffie, following his death.

At Bolton Coroners Court, PCO Hyde said: "Ms McGuffie told me he had been using drugs from an early age."

Ms McGuffie had said how her brother had lost his job working for Co-op Funeralcare due to his addiction issues.

PCO Hyde said: "But he was a good worker and they did say they would have him back if he could curtail his drug problems.

"The problems also led to him being divorced. He did have a son and I think he and his son were in contact."

Ms Hyde added: "She (Ms McGuffie) was to keep in regular contact, normally every three weeks, visually or over the phone.

"His family supported him, they used to buy him food and clothes."

On January 11 this year, Mr McGuffie was found unresponsive at a friend's house.

Paramedics took him to the Royal Bolton and he was admitted to the intensive care unit and put on a ventilator.

Dr Daniel Nethercott, a consultant at the Royal Bolton, was working on the ward when Mr McGuffie arrived.

He said: "There was a drug screening test. It came back positive for methadone, cocaine, ketamine and benzodiazepines.

"I knew there were previous attendances for similar cases."

He added: "It was clear that he had been unconscious for some time. 

"He had probably been unconscious for a long period of time, and we put him on ventilation."

However, Mr McGuffie's condition worsened over an 11-day stay at the hospital and he died on January 22.

Dr Ravindra Sawant, a pathologist at the Royal Bolton, gave Mr McGuffie's medical cause of death as bilateral bronchopneumonia caused by a fractured rib, with underlying issues of a drug overdose and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

Concluding, coroner Stephen Teasdale said: "He had some difficulties, particularly with abuse of illicit substances.

"This took its tool on his health.

"His health was declining, being described as increasingly frail and having an increasing number of attendances at Royal Bolton Hospital.

"Attending on January 2 after being found in the street. He came back again on January 3 and 4.

"X-rays were taken and there was a suspicion of fractured ribs, as well as potential infection."

Mr Teasdale recorded a narrative conclusion for Mr McGuffie's death.

He said: "Stephen William McGuffie died as a consequence of pneumonia and sustaining injuries in a fall, which was exacerbated by a drug overdose and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease."