A MAN found drowned in a stream in Cwmbran in June probably tripped and fell in whilst under the influence of cannabis, a coroner concluded.

The body of Matthew Karl Viner, 37, of Pontnewynydd, Pontypool, was found partially submerged in a stream in Stonebridge Park, Croesyceiliog, Cwmbran.

A rucksack containing alcohol and cannabis smoking equipment was found nearby, a coroner's investigation was told.

But though Mr Viner was a heavy drinker, Gwent coroner David Bowen was told, no alcohol was found in his body at a post mortem examination. But there was evidence of cannabis.

Colin Viner told Mr Bowen his son's heavy drinking began after his mother died in 1997. He had also suffered from depression.

A statement from Mr Viner's friend Rachel Grant, described them meeting up to catch up on old times last February. She became aware he was dependent on drink and they talked and subsequently argued about it.

Miss Grant described two "really nice" days they spent together, June 4 and June 6, when Mr Viner appeared not to have drunk anything. Towards the end of June 6 he went into her garden, and when he returned it was immediately apparent he had taken something.

She described him as staring, ashen, barely able to speak, confused and crying.

He said he knew it was unacceptable and left, saying he was going to woods behind industrial units on Avondale Road.

Subsequent texts and phone calls on June 6-7 received confused answers, then none at all, prior to his body being found.

Mr Bowen was satisfied Mr Viner probably "tripped and fell into the river where he drowned" whilst affected by cannabis.

Conclusion: Accidental death.