A BOURNE End man drowned in the River Thames after he fell in on his way home from the pub, an inquest heard.

Chris Russell, of Recreation Road, was walking home from The Bounty, in Cockmarsh, with his dog Monty on September 27.

The next morning the 39-year-old was found close to the viaduct by the pub's landlord, David Wright, who had gone out to look for the landscape gardener when his dog was found.

Peter Bedford, Berkshire coroner, recorded a verdict of accidental death at Windsor Guildhall. The inquest heard he was three-and-a-half times over the drink drive limit.

His wife, Lorraine Russell, had been working abroad when it happened, and she paid tribute to staff at The Bounty in a statement released soon after his death.

In October staff at the pub told the Bucks Free Press they had offered Mr Russell a lift home, though he wanted to walk, they said.

The next morning Mr Wright expected the worst when Monty was found and a member of staff saw Mr Russell's mobile phone lying in the river.

Mr Wright told the Bucks Free Press: “I went out on the boat because I knew he'd never leave his dog and he couldn't swim.

“When I saw the body he looked so peaceful and still. My staff had given him a torch to help him get home the night before and it was still in his hand."

Mr Wright said he had many friends at the pub and they had been making arrangements for his 40th birthday.