A SHOPLIFTER who stole a bottle of liqueur died after falling over while being chased by police, a Wrexham inquest heard.

Michael Charnock, 32, ruptured his spleen in June 2003, causing massive internal bleeding.

An ambulance crew was called and he was taken to Wrexham Maelor Hospital, but he died from his injuries.

The jury at Wrexham Coroner's Court returned a verdict of accidental death.

Mr Charnock had taken a bottle of Tia Maria from a store in Wrexham and the inquest heard how he was found lying in an alleyway surrounded by broken glass from the bottle, which had smashed.

PC Stephen Hughes said he immediately called an ambulance because the man was in a distressed condition, even though he only appeared to have a small puncture wound in the chest.

He was given 20 pints of blood and fluid by medical staff, but they were unable to save him.

A Home Office pathologist said his spleen had grown to three times its normal size due to alcohol abuse.

PC Hughes described Mr Charnock as a 'likeable rogue' who lived in a hostel for the homeless and was usually under the influence of drugs and alcohol.

The jury were shown a security camera video showing Mr Charnock running down a street with the bottle in one hand and holding his trousers up with the other.

North East Wales coroner John Hughes said he had to hold an inquest because Mr Charnock had died in police custody, even though he had not actually been arrested.