A friend has paid tribute to a Lynn man who lay dead in his flat for six months.
Anthony Pratt, 61, a former manager at Lynn’s Bensons for Beds, lived at The Maltings, Nelson Street, where his body was found on April 25.
However an inquest held yesterday heard that Mr Pratt had probably died on October 12, 2012.
Val Ciesciow, who worked at the bed shop with Mr Pratt for around eight years, said: “It is very sad. I am lost for words.
“He was quite a laid back gentleman. He liked the ladies, liked a smoke and was a very chatty person. He was a happy-go-lucky sort of chap and enjoyed being with his staff. After work he would take his staff out for a drink. He was very thoughtful.”
Mrs Ciesciow said she last spoke to Mr Pratt, known as Tony, on the phone in October when he told her he was fine.
She said: “He was an amazing guy. He lied about his age, smoked a lot and liked his drink and his Jags.”
District coroner William Armstrong said that on April 25, a neighbour had gone to Lynn police station worried about Mr Pratt’s flat, where post was piling up.
When officers arrived outside the flat they said there was a damp, musty smell and when they broke in they found Mr Pratt’s body.
A post-mortem examination could not establish a cause of death.
Mr Pratt’s brother Richard told the inquest his brother had been a successful salesman for many years but was made redundant in about 2010.
He said: “He had become quite isolated during the last part of his life. My brother was an individual of very, very regular habit. He made a trip to the supermarket every day of his life.”
It is thought that Mr Pratt died on October 12 as his bank account shows these daily trips stopped suddenly on that day.
Mr Armstrong said: “There was a time when he was a very successful salesman and was very well regarded.”
He was confident there were no suspicious circumstances but said there was insufficient evidence to enable a reliable conclusion to the cause of death.
Neighbours at The Maltings expressed their shock.
Meryl Unwin, 55, said she had known Mr Pratt as a casual acquaintance when he used to drink in The Wenns pub in the 1980s.
She said it had been terrible to hear of his death and added: “It was a shock when I heard who it was. I have been here for 23 years. Just because you don’t see someone it doesn’t mean there is anything wrong.”