THE final moments of a man who died after falling from a disused railway bridge remains a mystery, an inquest heard.

Antony Ratcliffe, aged 36, died at Haresfinch Road on the morning of Monday, May 9.

He was the second of three children, leaving behind older sister Lisa, younger sibling Kerry, mum Sheila and dad Michael.

An inquest at St Helens Town Hall heard that Antony, from Parr, was last seen before the fall entering an area of undergrowth behind Haresfinch Social Club at around 8am.

Coroner's officer Kevin Farrell said Antony had a medical history of alcohol dependency and also had epilepsy.

At the time of his death there was around two and a half times the drink driving limit of alcohol in his system. Antony had taken no prescribed medication leading up to his death.

Mr Farrell said: "He was seen to walk across the car park of Haresfinch Social Club and appeared under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

"He was asked if he was alright and headed towards a disused railway line. He was last seen negotiating his way through heavy dense foliage. No other person is seen to enter. At 9am that morning a motorist saw a male falling from the railway bridge."

He added: "We don't know what happened on the top of the bridge."

The weather had been good, meaning the bridge surface was not slippery.

A post-mortem examination showed Antony died from a traumatic head injury.

Recording an open verdict, Coroner Christopher Sumner said: "There's nothing to indicate that anything other than the fall killed him. I don't intend to record a suicide verdict. He's two and a half times the driving limit which is certainly going to affect him.

"In these circumstances I have to be satisfied that, one the action he took killed him, but that he appreciated that the action he was about to take would kill him. I can't give a verdict of suicide.

"I'm going to record an open verdict. The evidence doesn't disclose exactly what happened."