A "committed and hardworking" postmaster, whose health was declining, drowned in a section of fast-flowing river, an inquest heard.

Christopher Robin Reginald Desmond West, 60, was reported missing on February 5, 2023, after his daughter came to organise his newspaper round but found his home in darkness.

The divorced father-of-three was the postmaster of Wylye Post Office and ran the business "almost singlehandedly", working every day to deliver papers and manage the store.

Wiltshire Police searched for Mr West and officers found his body in the River Wylye near a sluice gate at Mill House at 1.35pm, just hours after his daughter called 999.

PC Kathy Byers said there was nothing to suggest that Mr West had intended to end his life other than his mobile phone had been left in his flat.

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The day before his death, Mr West was having a "stressful" time at the shop as the wrong papers were delivered on the morning of February 4, 2023.

His daughter said: "We had been working together since 6am. The electricity kept tripping in the shop all morning which was worrying him. We could not run our little newsagent without it."

An inquest held at Wiltshire and Swindon Coroner's Court on Monday, January 15, heard that Mr West's health was declining and had been diagnosed with Parkinson's disease in 2018, a diagnosis he took "badly".

He had also been involved in a motorcycle incident in 1981.

Despite these medical problems leaving Mr West tired and stiff, he continued to work every day, sometimes waking up at 4am to organise the newspapers.

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Miss West said her dad was "anxious and stressed about his health" and had concerns about the viability of his business due to his condition.

A customer saw Mr West on February 4 when he came to swap the wrongly delivered paper.

They had a conversation about the river levels but this did not concern Mr Bennetts as it wasn't out of the ordinary. He described Mr West as "a committed and very hardworking person".

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A toxicology report conducted by Matthew Flynn found no alcohol and a therapeutic dosage of drugs in Mr West's system.

Area Coroner Ian Singleton recorded the cause of Mr West's death as drowning and offered a narrative conclusion.

Mr Singleton said he was "unable to determine if it was a deliberate act or not", he added: "It has not been possible to determine how Christopher became into the river."

He passed on his sincere condolences to Mr West's family and friends for their loss.