Inquest opens into the death of former builder whose body was found in a lake

Patrick Thornton
Patrick Thornton

An inquest has opened into the death of a retired builder whose body was found in a lake at Allerton Bywater on New Year’s Eve.

Patrick Thornton, 63, was reported missing from his home in Great Preston on December 22 and a police appeal was issued.

Following a siting in Methley on December 22, he was not seen again until his body was removed from the water of Lowther Lake at around 2pm on December 31.

The inquest into his death was opened by West Yorkshire senior coroner, David Hinchliff, on Monday.

Mr Hinchliff said that Mr Thornton (pictured) was a widower and had been self-employed builder before his retirement.

He had been living with his daughter at the time of his disappearance.

When he failed to come home on the night of December 21, she raised the alarm.

On December 28 a man on Facebook said he had found a shoe floating in the lake at Allerton Bywater, which is off Ninevah Lane.

The information was passed to the police and it was confirmed that the shoe did belong to Mr Thornton. An underwater search team was then deployed and spent days at the site.

His body was eventually found more three metres under water and approximately 37 metres from the bank.

A postmortem examination found the cause of death to be drowning.

Mr Hinchliff adjourned the inquest pending further inquiries into Mr Thornton’s death.