THE shocked friend of a man whose body was found by the canal in Bridgwater is appealing for information to find out what happened.

Robert Gorton’s body was discovered by a couple walking alongside the canal, near Taunton Road, in the early hours of Thursday.

Mr Gorton had lived in Bridgwater for three years, and was originally from Burnley, Lancashire.

His brother Paul travelled to Bridgwater at the weekend to lay flowers at the scene where Robert was found and to try to find some answers.

He told the Mercury: “Robert was a quiet person and kept himself to himself, he didn’t have a huge group of friends.

“As far as I’m aware he wasn’t working. When he wrote to me about four months ago he said he was struggling to find work.

“He used to be in a choir when he was younger and was a keen fisherman and liked playing chess. He was also a very good snooker player.”

Peter Wakeford, a friend of the family who also made the journey to pay tribute to Mr Gorton, said: “He wasn’t the same person when he moved down here – perhaps he got in with a bad crowd. This is just not like him and it has been devastating for us all.

“We just want to know what has happened.”

A nearby resident said: “I heard a lot of noise and commotion at around 3.10am on Thursday morning. A couple had been walking down by the canal and found him.”

A police spokesman said: “Police were sent to the scene in the early hours of Thursday where the body of a man was found. The matter has now been referred to the coroner as a sudden death.”

The inquest is due to take place on Thursday.