A MAN found dead at his home had a shotgun wound to his chest, a coroner’s court heard.

Police were seen guarding Brett Mason’s house in Highcliffe Road, Wickford, after his body was discovered in a bedroom at 3.45pm on June 19.

Det Insp David Miles, of Basildon CID, told Chelmsford Coroner’s Court there were no suspicious circumstances or evidence of third party involvement.

The court heard a note referring to a debt of £9,000 was found in the glove box of 56-year-old Mr Mason’s works van - but coroner Caroline Beasley-Murray said this could have been written months earlier.

Mr Miles said: “I went to the upstairs area of the premises. As we approached the top of the stairs we could see that a loft hatch was open and a ladder was down.

“The bedroom on the right hand side was where Mr Mason was found.”

It is believed Mr Mason kept a shotgun in the loft.

The cause of death was given as a gunshot wound to the chest, with Mrs Beasley-Murray, senior coroner for Essex, recording a verdict that he killed himself.

She added: “Various family members have written about what was going on at that time in Mr Mason’s life. The court has already heard about the debt that he was paying off.

“I am sure he was a much-loved son.”