The cause of death of a Leigh man who died after being arrested by police is unclear, an inquest has been told.

Jack Higham died aged 20 on February 9 last year on Mill Lane, Leigh. 

An inquest into his death was opened on Wednesday, January 3, at Bolton Coroners' Court. 

Police coroners officer (PCO) Robert Struttman told the court that, "following an incident on Manchester Road", Mr Higham had been asked to stop by police on Edale Road, Leigh, before "making off" down the road. 

PCO Struttman said: "He waited for police and attacked an officer." 

He then "began to struggle". Further officers arrived to arrest him and he was put into a recovery position, struggling for breath. 

Paramedics were then called and his death was confirmed at the site at 10.15pm. 

As Mr Higham, of Prestwich Avenue, Leigh, had given a false name to police, his identity was only discovered after his family released a missing person plea. 

PCO Struttman said: "Police enquiries have taken place and the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) are involved." 

Pathologist Charles Wilson, of Royal Oldham Hospital, recorded Mr Higham's cause of death as unascertained, pending further information on histology, neuropathology and toxicology. 

Coroner Timothy Brennand ordered statements from Mr Higham's GP, an antecedent, the police file on the case and a full cause of death from the pathologist by February 23. 

He also asked for a statement from the IOPC on what stage their investigation is at so he could make a decision as to whether the inquest would need to be suspended. 

Coroner Brennand adjourned the inquest until a pre-inquest review on April 16.