Body of popular Seaford shopkeeper found in flat

The body of a 'popular and well liked' character from Seaford lay undiscovered in his flat for several days, an inquest has heard.

Thursday, 15th December 2016, 3:50 pm
Updated Saturday, 17th December 2016, 9:41 am

Neighbours raised the alarm after former shopkeeper Roger John Steward had not been seen for several days.

Police were called and 68-year-old Mr Steward’s body was found in the bathroom of his flat in Mitchell House in Lexden Drive on Saturday August 27.

An inquest at Eastbourne Town Hall on Thursday heard Newhaven-born Mr Steward had a long history of alcoholism and was a lifelong smoker.

He had also been treated for cancer of the throat in the months before his death.

His family doctor Dr Ian Bayles from Old School Surgery in Seaford said he knew Mr Steward well and his patient often drank too much and did not eat properly.

“He was a well known Seaford character and incredibly likeable,” said Dr Bayles, who said it was likely that Mr Steward had been suffering with heart disease and had died of natural causes.

PC Kevin O’Connor was called to the flat Mr Steward lived in and found his decomposed body on the floor of the bathroom.

He said there was no evidence in the flat that Mr Steward had been drinking.

Mr Steward’s wife Janet, from whom he was separated, said the couple had split because of his drinking problem but saw him weekly.

The last time neighbours saw him at his flat was the Tuesday before his death.

East Sussex coroner Alan Craze recorded a verdict that Mr Steward had died of natural causes.