Questions remain about the death of a young man who drowned in the Thames.

Westminster Coroner's Court heard today how a huge police search was launched for Marc Hutton, 28, an accountant, when he went missing from his house in Sefton Road, Putney, on Friday, February 28.

The former Bournemouth University student, described as a bright high-flier, was using crutches following knee surgery for a football injury on February 19.

He stayed at his parents’ home in Ealing after the surgery and over February 26 and 27 three emergency calls were made, with Mr Hutton attending hospital each time.

Mr Hutton was twice worried about an adverse reaction to surgery and on the third time his father rang concerned about suicidal thoughts he was having. Suicide was confronted directly in hospital and he was not considered a serious risk.

On Friday, February 28, his parents took him home to Putney. He went to the pub with a friend and later told flatmates he was going to get food. He did not answer his phone the next day and his father reported him missing on Sunday morning.

Phil Hutton told the court: "He did seem more anxious than normal. Under the circumstances we understood that. Surgery is a traumatic experience.

"He started having a rather bleak outlook as to his prospects after the operation. He did become more and more concerned they might not have done the operation right. If they got it wrong what would they have to do next - will it have to be an amputation?"

Detective Inspector Mark Blackshaw, from Wandsworth CID, said 15 detectives worked the case and a helicopter searched Putney Common. They also tried to track his phone, Oyster card and financial transactions.

Westminster coroner Dr William Dolman said: "He was clearly not himself, anxious, with what sounded like panic attacks at the time.

"He had no past serious psychological history or suicide attempts.

"In short we have a man clearly anxious and depressed following very minor surgery for a long standing knee problem.

"We don’t know how he came to be in the River Thames. A man on crutches - did he slip? Did he fall? Was it an accident or was it deliberate?

"Because of the long gap, the gap in evidence, it would be impossible for me to come to any direct conclusion.

"This means my conclusion has to be unsatisfactory. There are gaps I have to leave the conclusion open. We simply don’t know what happened."

He gave his condolences to Mr Hutton’s family, said no-one was to blame for what happened and added: "It was beyond comprehension in some ways."