A 66-YEAR-OLD man suffocated to death after getting trapped as he tried to climb into his home through a small kitchen window, an inquest was told on Thursday.

Retired engineer Henry Bennetts died on September 8 last year at his home in Longney Road, Hardwicke and was found wedged in a small window around 7pm.

It appeared that he lost his footing while trying to climb through the window and a chair was lying on the floor nearby, the inquest heard.

The inquest was told that Mr Bennetts had long-standing alcohol problems and had regularly attended Alcoholics Anonymous sessions. He had abstained from drinking for two-and-half years but had been admitted to hospital on August 27 for detoxification after a period of heavy drinking.

Analysis of blood samples showed that Mr Bennetts had 178mg of alcohol per decilitre of blood in his body at the time of death – more than twice the legal drink-drive limit.

A post-mortem examination found he died from positional asphyxia brought about by being trapped in the window.

A verdict of accidental death was recorded.