An alcoholic cyclist who crashed into a wheelie bin died a week later in hospital after suffering acute alcohol withdrawal and a heart failure an inquest heard today.

Victor Pickston, 51, a gardener from Belfield Road, Ewell, went over the handlebars of his bike while cycling on the pavement in Chessington Road, Ewell, on January 11.

He was taken to Epsom Hospital but discharged himself before an assessment could be carried out.

He then collapsed and was taken to St George's Hospital in Tooting where he suffered a fatal cardiac arrest on January 18.

Back in 2009 he hit the headlines after pleading guilty to placing a hoax bomb at the Wheatsheaf pub in Kingston Road, Ewell, which led to an evacuation and controlled explosion.

It was reported that as a practical joke he sent it a package containing a Tabasco sauce bottle with a battery and a mobile phone, designed to look like a bomb.

At Woking Coroner's Court today assistant coroner Dr Karen Henderson concluded that his death was accidental.

Its cause was recorded as cardio-respiratory arrest due to multiple injuries and chronic liver disease as well as confusion and delirium because of alcohol withdrawal.

Dr Henderson said drivers saw Mr Pickston ride downhill, hit the wheelie bin at some speed, fly over his handlebars and land partly in the road.

She said: "It was significant that Mr Pickston smelt strongly of alcohol."

Of his drinking habits, she said: "He needed three to four cans of Stella a day and that would be part of his normal life."

Mr Pickston had a torn kidney and haemorrhaging plus multiple fractures to his ribs causing flail chest, a condition in which part of the rib cage is separated from the chest wall.

She said: "Shortly after he was admitted into hospital he developed signs of acute alcohol withdrawal. He did develop a chest infection."

Pathologist Michael Heath said Mr Pickston had a very enlarged heart as well as sclerosis of the liver and steatosis, an accumulation of fat in the liver, due to alcohol.

Driver Lai-Fun McCarthy said she saw Mr Pickston while driving along Chessington Road at about 1pm on January 11.

She said: "Unfortunately he hit the wheelie bin head-on but still held on to his push bike. His bike went over and he went over with it."

Mrs McCarthy said she and other drivers rushed to his aid, called the emergency services, contacted his girlfriend, placed a gym bag under his head and moved their cars to shield him from traffic.

At the coroner’s court today Mr Pickston’s brother, Lawrence, thanked Mrs McCarthy for her help.

He said that his brother had discharged himself from Epsom Hospital, adding: "I believe he got fed-up of waiting and got a cab back to his girlfriend's and collapsed on the step."

He warned St George’s that his brother as "very headstrong and very stubborn" and would try to discharge himself again. Mr Pickston had cared for his elderly father and girlfriend.

At Guildford Crown Court in 2009, he was given a 39-week prison sentence, suspended for 12 months, ordered to do community work and ordered to pay £670 in costs over a bomb hoax.

On June 16 that year Army bomb disposal experts rushed to detonate the package and police told residents, including mothers with young children, to leave home and seek refuge in nearby Bourne Hall.

Mr Pickston's lawyer was reported as saying his client had returned the Tabasco sauce bottle as a joke because it had a reputation for being like dynamite and the package was marked 'handle with care'.