A High Wycombe businessman who battled alcohol addiction tragically died following a heavy drinking session - just hours after being offered a job interview, an inquest has heard.

Ratnam Ratnaraj, 56, was found slumped against the wall by his wife at their Kingsley Crescent home on November 13 last year.

Having struggled with alcohol, he had managed to abstain for a month but sadly relapsed the day he passed away.

At the time of his death, he was more than three times over the drink-drive limit with 269mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood.

At an inquest into his death on Wednesday, a statement from Mr Ratnaraj's wife heard that on November 12, he told her he had been given a job interview.

At around 4pm, he had eaten half the meal he had been cooking when he said he was tired and went to his bedroom to sleep.

Around 8pm, his wife found an alcohol bottle hidden in a pile of his clothes.

Upset about this, she woke her husband up and he said he had some money and “couldn’t resist” buying the alcohol but added he looked “frustrated and upset”.

She called the Valley Centre in High Wycombe, where the adult mental health team was based who had helped him amid previous suicidal thoughts, and explained what had happened.

But she was left feeling “hopeless” when they said it was her husband’s choice to drink, but he could come back to the centre if he wanted.

Devastated about his relapse, she tried to get some sleep before waking at around 5am for work.

Walking into the kitchen, she noticed a chicken curry her husband had been cooking before she went to bed was still simmering on the hob - so she went to check on him.

She sadly found him “on the floor and cold” partially undressed and called 999.

The businessman had, on a number of occasions since 2018, asked One Recovery Bucks for help with his alcohol addiction but did not return their follow-up calls.

A post-mortem found Mr Ratnaraj had died of acute alcohol toxicity shortly after drinking.

Senior coroner for Buckinghamshire Crispin Butler said Mr Ratnaraj was likely to have become unconscious and “passed away peacefully and painlessly”.

He said: “He seemed to be doing so well before this tragic relapse. The sudden return to alcohol led to this unintended outcome.

“It is a very sad occurrence that something positive on that day, the job interview, had led to taking the alcohol again when he seemed to be doing well.”

Tributes have poured in online from Mr Ratnaraj, who was born in Jaffna in Sri Lanka in January 1963.

One tribute read: "It was a joy to know you from Hayes days with your lovely smile. We enjoyed each others company.

"Your wife and children have our deepest sympathy. You will be missed by many."

Another added: "Today, you are not here with us but we will always remember you as a winner, who lived like a king all his life."

For help with alcohol or drug issues, go to onerecoverybucks.org