REGIONAL: Mystery as man is found dead next to pet python

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POLICE are investigating the death of a man who was found dead with serious injuries with his pet snake reportedly nearby.

Keen snake handler Dan Brandon, 31, died at his home in Church Crookham, Hampshire on August 25.

A Hampshire Police spokesman confirmed that officers were carrying out inquiries into the death on behalf of the coroner.

He said: ‘A 31-year-old man had suffered serious injuries and died at the scene.

‘The death is not being treated as suspicious at this stage.

‘A file will be prepared for the coroner.”

An officer for North Hampshire Coroner Andrew Bradley said an inquest would be opened administratively in the next couple of days when a cause of death would be released.

Friend John Cottrell has set up JustGiving fundraising pages in Mr Brandon’s memory.

He wrote: ‘On August 25 Dan unexpectedly passed away at home. He was obsessed with snakes, spiders, birds and all wildlife, in his memory we have set up two fundraising pages, one for WWF and one for RSPB.

‘We have struggled when looking for photos for his funeral to find any when he isn’t holding a spider, snake, small bird, toad, slow worm, hedgehog, feeding a fox, stroking cattle, befriending a cat or dog so these charities seemed the perfect choice. In memory of you Dan.... who we will all miss SO much.’

Mr Brandon posted photos of himself on social media with his pets including a huge Burmese python.