A JAILED sex offender, who who was found unconscious on the floor in prison, died of heart failure, an inquest heard.

Richard Adrian West died just six months after being jailed for historic sex offences.

The former RAF officer had been sentenced to five and a half years in prison in June after being found guilty of six counts of historic indecent assault.

Mr West was found unconscious following a fall on December 8 last year.

The 74-year-old, previously of Armstrong Rise, Charlton died two days later at Royal Hampshire County Hospital, Winchester.

An inquest was held at Winchester Coroner’s Court this week because Mr West was imprisoned at HMP Winchester at the time of his death.

In a statement read out during the hearing, consulting physician, Nigel Smyth, said Mr West was found unresponsive following a fall and was treated for very low blood sugar and blood pressure and a possible infection.

He regained consciousness later that night and was seen by various doctors.

However Mr West died in hospital in the afternoon of Saturday, December 10.

Pathologist Dr Basil Purdue told the court that before he performed the autopsy he had been made aware that Mr West’s health had deteriorated as well as his memory.

He was also aware Mr West had been bedbound, insulin dependant, had cardiovascular disease and oedema – swelling caused by fluid retention.

On examining Mr West’s heart, Dr Purdue found old scarring and said Mr West had probably had a bad heart attack some years ago.

He found that all three major arteries had calcium deposits, which narrowed the blood vessels.

Mr West’s lungs were very heavy on examination – around three or four times as heavy as normal.

There was a build up of fluid in the lungs and signs of chronic lung disease but Dr Purdue said this was not significant in light of more pressing issues due to the poor function of his heart.

The pathologist also found Mr West was in the end stage of chronic pancreatitis, which brought on Mr West’s diabetes.

Although doctors had treated Mr West in hospital for sepsis, Dr Purdue found no signs of infection during his autopsy.

He added that he found nothing to suggest Mr West had fallen to the floor.

He concluded Mr West had died of congestive heart failure due to ischaemic heart disease, saying: “He could’ve died at any time with a heart as bad as that.”

After hearing the evidence, senior coroner Grahame Short concluded West had died of natural causes.

He said: “It’s very clear that medical background that he wasn’t a well man and he was, by that stage, in a wheelchair or in bed for most of the time in prison.

“Diabetes affected his blood pressure and he spent all his time in the health care wing or in hospital.

“[Dr Purdue’s] findings in examining his body show that heart disease led to congestive heart failure and the diabetes contributed to that.

“Based on evidence I therefore conclude Richard West died due to natural causes.

“Due to congestive heart disease and type 2 diabetes.”