Decomposed body of man found at his Milton Keynes home

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A man who narrowly avoided jail for letting his two American bulldogs attack other animals was found partially decomposed in his own bedroom.

The body of Mark Bowden, 49, was discovered after a “strange odour” was noticed coming from his Downs Barn home, an inquest heard.

Coroner Tom Osborne recorded an open verdict, saying there was no evidence of suicide or an accident.

Mr Bowden was banned from keeping dogs for 10 years in 2007 after his bulldogs savagely attacked a Norfolk Terrier, which had to be put to sleep as a result.

He was handed a six-week suspended jail sentence after admitting causing unnecessary suffering to a dog and a court heard how he had previously allowed his animals to attack others, prompting police to intervene. He was also given 180 hours community service.

His body was found face down in his bedroom on June 8 - less than a month before his 50th birthday.

The inquest heard how his son-in-law Liam Costello had gone to check on Mr Bowden, who lived alone and had previously taken an overdose. He called the fire brigade when he smelled a strange odour coming from the Chapman Avenue home.

A post mortem examination was inconclusive and the cause of death was unascertainable.

A statement written by Bowden’s GP Dr Samuel Muthuveloe, of Sovereign Medical Care in Milton Keynes, revealed that he suffered from a very rare genetic order, Camurati–Engelmann disease, which thickened his bones and prevented him from working.

“He suffered from a disease Camurati–Engelmann disease, which caused him bone pane and a vitamin D deficiency,” read Mr Osborne.

“He also suffered from an anxiety disorder and depression and took an overdose of [prescription drugs] Co-codamol and diazepam in June 2008.”

Mr Bowden, of Chapman Avenue, Downs Barn, was charged with using threatening words and behaviour, as well as being drunk and disorderly following a stand-off with police on the roof of his house in June 2015.

Mr Osborne recorded an open verdict after explaining to Mr Bowden’s daughter Nikkita, who sat in the inquest a month after her wedding, that there was insufficient evidence to rule the death as suicide.

“In order for me to conclude that Mr Bowden has died as a result of a suicide I have to be satisfied beyond all reasonable doubt that not only has he taken his own life but that he intended to do so,” he said.

“Police attended, the fire brigade were called as it was suggested that Mr Bowden had gassed himself but there was no evidence of that when the fire brigade went in.

“I sent Mark for a post-mortem examination to be carried out but unfortunately there was no evidence as to the cause of Mark’s death.”

He added, of the suicide option: “I don’t see that there is any significant evidence to reach that conclusion.

“Subsequently I don’t believe he died of natural causes and I don’t believe that his death was an accident, so it one of those rare occasions when I must record an open conclusion.”