A 22-YEAR-OLD man who was found dead in the Hotties canal had suffered an epileptic fit and fallen into the water, an inquest heard.

Carlos Howard died on the morning of Wednesday, April 5 after he slipped into the water unconscious, the hearing was told.

Coroner’s officer Kevin Farrell told the hearing at St Helens Town Hall that Mr Howard, whose last known address was Doulton Street, West Park “had a medical history of epilepsy for which he was prescribed medication”.

He had also spent time“living rough on the bank of the canal” though Mr Howard's family said he had been sleeping at a friend's house.

Mr Farrell added: “A member of the public was crossing over the pedestrian bridge when she spotted what she believed to be a body in the water.

“Police officers entered the water and retrieved the body of a young male.”

The inquest heard that enquiries showed that Mr Howard may have been in the water from as early as 6.20am. He was found at 8.30am.

Police concluded there was no third-party involvement.

Toxicological reports showed Mr Howard had taken cannabis before his death and non-prescribed anti-depressants at therapeutic levels, with sub-therapeutic levels of epilepsy medication.

The coroner’s court heard that at some time prior to 6.20am he suffered an epileptic seizure” which led to him slipping into the water with his “natural body defences severely compromised” due to being unconscious.

His cause of death was deemed as “drowning due to epilepsy and immersion in water” added Mr Farrell.

Coroner Christopher Sumner ruled a verdict of accidental death, concluding: “He had an epileptic fit which caused him to fall into the water.

“I record a verdict of accidental death."