NOTW Reporter 'Died Of Liver Disease'
24 November 2011, 12:01 | Updated: 24 November 2011, 12:06
An inquest's heard the News Of The World reporter found dead at his home in Watford didn't die in suspicious circumstances.
Sean Hoare's body was found on Monday 18 July 2011 - the day before Rupert and James Murdoch faced questioning by MPs over the phone hacking scandal.
The inquest heard the 48 year old died from alcoholic liver disease. He had earlier told how phone hacking was rife at the News of the World and that the paper's editor Andy Coulson was aware of it.
At the time of his death, Mr Hoare, the paper's former showbiz reporter, was said to have been under stress and using alcohol as a crutch as he found himself in the spotlight because of his claims.
The inquest at Hatfield, Hertfordshire, heard how in the past Sean had made attempts to tackle his heavy drinking and, at one stage, went a year without alcohol.
However, in the months leading up to his death, he had been drinking and his health was suffering.
The inquest was told how, on July 18, Hertfordshire Police officers went to Sean's flat in Langley Road, Watford (pictured) at around 11am.
It followed a request from colleagues in the Met Police, who had been contacted by members of the reporter's family who were worried that they could not contact him.
Officers forced their way into the flat to find Sean, 48, lying dead on his bed.
Coroner Edward Thomas told the hearing that toxicology tests carried out showed the amount of alcohol in Sean's body measured just under the legal driving limit.
Also found were slightly higher levels of the medication Sean was on, but the coroner said that may have been because he had died and his body was unable to remove the medication from his system.
The inquest was told how, at the time of his death, Sean was suffering from an infected toe and on antibiotics. His GP records also revealed that he was drinking around 4 units of alcohol a week and he had been urged by his GP to stop drinking altogether to reverse liver damage that had been caused.
Mr Thomas said that in the past Sean had "done well" and had abstained from drinking for up to a year.
The coroner said Mr Hoare had been a heavy drinker in the past, "possibly through the culture of his occupation" and he said the 12 months Sean had gone without drink had improved his liver function.
However, the court heard that by September 2010 Sean was drinking again and Mr Thomas said he appeared to be using it "as a crutch" to cope with the media spotlight being on him because of his claims.
From then on the court heard there was a steady decline in Sean's health.
He fell over easily, he was jaundiced, suffering a swollen leg and he bruised easily.
He was also suffering from cirrhosis of the liver.
The inquest was told Sean was seeing a liver specialist.
He was last seen alive on July 13 smoking a cigarette on the balcony outside his flat.
Five days later, officers went in to find him dead in his bedroom.
A post mortem found that Sean had died from alcoholic liver disease.
Recording a verdict that Sean died of natural causes, the coroner said that Sean had been "a very good writer who started his career at the Watford Observer and ended up at the News of the World."
The coroner said Sean Hoare had found it stressful working at the paper, which had resulted in him drinking.