The death of a "devoted family man" on Scafell Pike was a "tragic accident", an inquest has found.

Chris Brown, 35, of Parton, Whitehaven, died after falling while on his descent from England's highest mountain.

Heartfelt tributes were paid to the popular postman at the inquest into his death yesterday.

A tribute read out on behalf of his wife, Samantha, said: "He was the most loving, caring man I have ever known. He was the most devoted husband and father to Grace.

"Someone said if there were more people in the world like Chris, it would be a better place and it's so true. He lit up my life."

His mother, Marie Brown said: "Chris and I have always been very close. The love and bond between us was there immediately. I just wanted to cuddle him and never let him go.

"Our family home was always full of happiness and laughter. We had many happy times."

Mr Brown had worked for the Royal Mail for 15 years and his mother said he still loved the job.

"He would help anyone on his rounds and would have a chat and a laugh."

Mr Brown became a retained fire fighter in 2012, a role which gave him a "real sense of achievement".

His mother added: "He loved Sam and Grace. He had so much to look forward to and so many plans for the future."

Cockermouth Coroners Court heard that Mr Brown had decided to climb Scafell Pike alone on June 3.

He had planned the walk and had researched how to get up and back down.

Mr Brown sent a series of messages to his wife during the day and posted on social media after reaching the summit shortly after 4pm.

Phone records showed his last phone call was with his mother at around this time. He had taken a photo at 4.40pm and his last steps were recorded five minutes later.

Mr Brown's wife raised the alarm after she was unable to get in touch with him. She reported her husband missing to the police and his family went out to find his car which they located at the Hardknott Pass.

A search and rescue operation was triggered by Wasdale Mountain Rescue Team at around 11.40pm.

Some of Mr Brown's colleagues at Maryport Fire and Rescue also went out to help look for him but were unable to find him.

Duddon and Furness Mountain Rescue were later called out to help and Mr Brown was found on Chambers Crag, at around 6am the following morning. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

A post mortem revealed Mr Brown had sustained "unsurvivable" injuries to his head and chest. Coroner Kirsty Gomersal concluded that Mr Brown died due to an accident.

In her concluding statement, the coroner said: "Chris was a beloved husband, daddy, son and brother. He was a devoted family man and a friend to many. Chris seemed to find joy in every aspect of his life. He clearly had a lot to give."