A man died aged just 30 after suffering a leg infection, an inquest heard. 

Shaun Bowden died on July 14, 2022, at Royal Bolton Hospital. 

An inquest at Bolton Coroners Court heard Mr Bowden had been a "healthy child" who enjoyed playing rugby. However, when he was around 15 years old, his girlfriend died, which had a "profound effect" on him. 

Around that time, he was said to have begun using heroin. 

His mother, Janet Bowden, told the inquest she believed this was to "try and get over" the bereavement. 

The inquest heard Mr Bowden, of Wavertree Avenue, Atherton, became "more and more dependent on the drug" until he was addicted. 

Mr Bowden worked "for a while" as a driver, and as a window fitter for a double glazing company, although his mother added that he found it difficult to hold down work. 

On July 5, 2022, he was taken to Royal Bolton Hospital by ambulance, complaining of a pain in his leg. 

Dr Alun Wall, an orthopaedic surgeon at the hospital, said: "He had a four week history of leg swelling and had deteriorated significantly over the previous days, his calf was painful and he had blisters on it. 

"He looked very unwell, was in septic shock and had low blood pressure." 

Mr Bowden went into surgery to have an abscess on his leg drained, with Dr Wall saying he noticed an improvement in his condition following the operation. 

However, a CT scan on July 8 showed that he had abscesses in his lungs. He was put on a course of antibiotics and appeared to stabilise.

But on July 14, one of the abscesses eroded into an artery, causing massive internal bleeding. 

Resuscitation attempts were made, but he was declared dead.

Dr Wall said: "It was unexpected, when he passed away I was very surprised to hear what had happened." 

Dr Patrick Waugh gave his medical cause of death as a massive haemoptysis, caused by multiple lung abscesses, caused by a septic calf abscess caused by non-sterile intravenous drug use. 

After the evidence had been heard, Coroner Peter Sigee suggested he would include the doctors' contention that the leg abscess was caused by intravenous drug use. 

His family were unhappy with this, maintaining that it was the fall which caused the issues. 

Coroner Sigee said: "Shaun's view was that the leg problems resulted in fall off a wall. 

"What we do know is the doctors and pathologist thinks the infection itself has started from intravenous drug use." 

Ms Bowden said: "They can't conclude that." 

Mr Sigee explained how coroners make decisions on the balance of probabilities, using the "51 per cent rule" whereby if they believe something is over 51 per cent likely to have happened, it is treated as fact. 

Ms Bowden said: "He obviously got an infection, but it is where he got the infection that is causing problems for me." 

She told the hearing that doctors could not say for certain drugs caused the infection.

Ms Bowden described the conclusion that stating drugs were involved in the cause of death was taking the "easy way out" to which the coroner replied: "It is not an easy way out for anyone."

Mr Sigee concluded Mr Bowden’s death as having been misadventure.