THE family of a Stourport delivery driver still do not know how he died after his body was found in a river three months ago.

The body of Stourport dad Stephen Colledge, aged 53, was recovered from the River Severn at Lincomb Lock on April 23 - three months after he went missing.

He was last seen on a night out with friends in Stourport and had been drinking in the Wheatsheaf, Ye Olde Crown Inn, and Hope and Anchor pubs on January 29, before calling his mother Annette for a lift home.

But when she arrived to pick him up near the Stourport bridge, Mr Colledge was nowhere to be seen.

His mother said he seemed agitated and frightened on the phone, so she parked near the Crown pub before searching for him around the bridge arches.

In a statement read out at Worcestershire Coroner's Court on Wednesday (July 31), Mrs Colledge said: “Drinking had been a bit of a problem for Stephen in recent years.”

The court heard how Mr Colledge had “drank a considerable amount of alcohol”, but that it was “not possible to say how much he was affected by this".

Police Sergeant Iain Standing, who oversaw the three-month operation to find Mr Colledge, confirmed that CCTV footage was used to help trace the missing man.

The last image captured was outside Drinkers World in Bridge Street, walking in the direction of the bridge.

Sergeant Standing explained to family members who questioned why he wasn’t found earlier that Mr Colledge's body would have sunk below the surface of the river, possibly dragged down by something underneath.

Coroner David Reid said Mr Colledge could have slipped from a part of the riverbank that did not have any protection, but said “it is not possible to say how Stephen entered the water".

A muscle sample was taken from Mr Colledge's body for post-mortem analysis, which did not indicate any drugs in his system.

The cause of death was concluded as an "unascertained" open conclusion.

Speaking to Mr Colledge's family, Mr Reid said: "My sympathies for the fact that you have had to wait three months not knowing what had happened to Stephen, and three months before the inquest took place.”

A spokesman for the family said after the inquest: “We are devastated and our lives will never be the same again.”