AN IT consultant whose body was found during an massive search after he went missing in the Lake District died from a head injury, an inquest has heard.

Police launched a public appeal for information and mountain rescue team volunteers began searches early on May 9 amid concern for 60-year-old Richard Andrew Lucas.

Mr Lucas had earlier been reported missing having failing to make contact after a lone walk from Seathwaite towards England’s highest mountain Scafell Pike.

Rescuers from the Wasdale, Keswick, Duddon and Furness, and Langdale and Ambleside teams made early morning searches. During an incident lasting almost 40 hours, a second wave of searches got under way with additional resources including search dogs, drones, and a coastguard helicopter being used. But tragically Mr Lucas was found dead the following day.

“They have my deepest sympathies on the passing of their loved one,” said area coroner Ms Kirsty Gomersal in reference to Mr Lucas’ family as an inquest was formally opened at Cockermouth Coroners’ Court.

“His body was discovered on 10th May of this year at about 10-36am on Scafell Pike by search and rescue with multiple injuries.”

Mr Lucas’ death was pronounced at 12-20pm by a doctor with his wife Diane later confirming his identify at Whitehaven’s West Cumberland Hospital.

“A post mortem examination has been carried out. I am offered a cause of death as 1a head injury which is a provisional cause of death,” said Ms Gomersal. “Given the cause and circumstances of Mr Lucas’s death I am satisfied that an inquest is required.”

The hearing was adjourned to a provisional date of October 24 this year.

The coroner noted that Mr Lucas — a married father, son, brother and uncle — had been born in Huddersfield. Latterly he lived in nearby Mirfield and had worked as an IT consultant.

His family asked for donations in his memory to be made for the benefit of Wasdale mountain rescue team.

In a Facebook statement after the incident, a Wasdale team spokesman said: “Our sincere condolences go to the walker’s family and friends. Our thoughts are with you all.

“Thanks to all that supported this significant multi-agency team effort. We are very grateful for the help.”