A man who died in field in Wickham Market during Storm Babet is believed to have become stuck as he tried to home, a court heard.

On Monday, the inquest for 78-year-old Calvin Baxter was resumed at Suffolk Coroner’s Court in Ipswich.

Mr Baxter went missing last year on Friday, October 20. This was during the height of Storm Babet, which ravaged the UK with heavy rainfall and strong winds for several days.

The court heard that Mr Baxter would visit a friend for coffee every Friday morning. Forgetting that the friend could not make the appointment, Mr Baxter drove to their home as usual.

When he arrived and realised the friend was not in, he made the decision to walk home, using a footpath which cut across two fields.

Later, when Mr Baxter’s family came to retrieve his car, they were unable to drive it, believing the handbrake had locked. This, perhaps, explains Mr Baxter’s decision.

As he walked, Mr Baxter met Nathan Hobbs at about 11am. In a statement read before the court, Mr Hobbs said that Mr Baxter seemed “in good spirits” and he was not overly concerned about his welfare.

This is believed to be the last time Mr Baxter was seen alive.

When the friend arrived home and saw Mr Baxter’s car, they tried to contact him. When they were unable to do so, they raised the alarm, and a search was swiftly commenced.

On Sunday, October 22, Mr Baxter’s body was found in a field off Dallinghoo Road by walkers.

A pathology report read before the court said that Mr Baxter died due to drowning.

Present in court were several of Mr Baxter’s friends and family members, including his sister.

Mr Baxter was, they said, a kind and generous man who would help others whenever he could. He cared for his disabled mother for four years until she passed away, and then for his late partner when her health worsened.

He worked as an electrician for many years, apart from six years when he worked as a postman.

In trying to understand Mr Baxter’s death, assistant coroner Dr Daniel Sharpstone heard from Mr Baxter’s friends and family about the weather conditions they experienced during Storm Babet.

While they said that the fields did not regularly flood, they had on this occasion.

Dr Sharpstone said he believed that Mr Baxter became “stuck” as he walked through the field.

A friend told the court that when she had tried to walk the route herself, she had to turn back as her wellington boots became lodged in the mud.

Dr Sharpstone delivered a narrative conclusion, finding that Mr Baxter died while attempting to cross a flooded field during Storm Babet.

On the balance of probabilities, he found Mr Baxter’s death was likely due to prolonged exposure to severe weather conditions and drowning.