A MAN died after choking on his lunch, a coroner was told yesterday

The inquest into the death of Edward Spencer, 80, of Alpine Way, Tow Law, took place at Bishop Auckland Magistrates Court.

Mr Spencer had been having lunch with his wife, Louisa, and 14 friends at Kensington Hall Hotel, Willington, on Thursday, when he began to choke on his food.

A friend attempted resuscitation, but Mr Spencer died later at Bishop Auckland General Hospital.

Consultant pathologist Dr Clive Bloxham said the main cause of death was choking, but Mr Spencer had several health problems, including diabetes, heart disease, obstructive airways disorder and had suffered small strokes. These problems would have increased the risk of him choking.

South West Durham and Darlington Coroner Colin Penna recorded a verdict of misadventure.