A 71-YEAR-old man died after choking on a piece of meat while he was dining alone, an inquest heard.

Frederick Gretton of Old Street, Ludlow regularly went to Ye Olde Bull Ring Tavern in Ludlow, the inquest at Herefordshire Coroner's Court heard.

Ruby Adshead, who works at the pub, said she had know him for around six years as he had been a frequent customer at both the Blue Boar and the Olde Bull.

She said he would normally come in for lunch and order a couple of half pints and a child's meal of cod, chips and salad, or scampi and chips.

But on November 4 when he came to the pub he asked for gammon, egg and chips, which she thought was unusual.

After his food was served she was alerted by a member of the public that Mr Gretton was slumped over his plate.

They were unable to get a response and he was laid down in the recovery position.

However, he stopped breathing and CPR was carried out until two ambulance crews arrived.

A paramedic removed a piece of meat from his airway and he was taken to Hereford County Hospital, where he died the following day.

Coroner Mark Bricknell said Mr Gretton died due to choking, which caused an hypoxic brain injury and a heart attack. He recorded an accidental death.