A waiter at a Chinese restaurant suffocated to death after putting cling-film around his head.

Kit-Kuen Lai, 62, was found in his bedroom in a flat above Sichuan Garden Chinese restaurant in Brighton Road, Coulsdon, with his head wrapped in cling-film on September 9, last year.

The former Balham man had bladder cancer and gambling debts.

South London coroner Roy Palmer recorded an open verdict following an inquest at Croydon Coroner's Court on Thursday.

Mr Lai worked at the restaurant the night before he died but when he did not come in for work the following day, one of his colleagues went to look for him.

He was found in a room he shared with other waiters lying on a bed with a curtain around it.

Someone tried to resuscitate him but paramedics pronounced him dead at the scene.

A post-mortem examination revealed he had swallowed some bleach before he died but Dr Palmer said it was unlikely this would have been what killed him.  

Concluding, Dr Palmer said: "I don't have clear evidence of his intentions. There was no-one else involved.

"I can't be sure beyond reasonable doubt that he intended to die by his actions.

"It is distinctly possible, but that is not enough.

"There's nothing to say it was an accident and it was not natural so I will return an open verdict."