THE inquest into the death of Romsey man Steven Lockyer has been opened, following the discovery of his body in a field last month.

Mr Lockyer’s body was found by a member of the public near a mansion, close to Magnolia Walk, in Abbotswood on February 5.

A police spokesman said the body was believed to have been there for “some time”.

The 58-year-old had been missing from his home in Tavistock Close since Saturday, April 23 last year.

He had not been in contact with friends and family since that day.

Police had been conducting their own enquiries to try and locate him and launched an appeal to the public for help in finding him.

The body was found in land next to Belbins Business Park and a large house called Baroona.

 The house is currently empty and developers have been given permission to build up to 30 homes on the site.

Geoff Tesch, 54, who lives in Romsey, works close to the field where the discovery was made.

He said he and his colleagues noticed a foul smell six months to a year ago, but thought it had come from a deer or rabbit which had been hit by a car.

Mr Tesch said: “Where it is all overgrown in the summer, you cannot see anything.

“We saw police digging so when we got told it was a body, it all fell into place. It was a bit of a shock.”

The inquest was opened on February 28 and is due to close on June 19.