A MAN was found dead in the back garden of a popular pub.

The 44-year-old man’s body was discovered in the early hours of Monday morning in the garden behind the Anchor Pub in the High Street, Great Wakering.

Witnesses reported hearing shouting coming from the pub and that police were on scene for several hours after the incident.

The pub was closed for the remainder of the day.

An Essex police spokesman said: “Police officers were called shortly before 7.30am on Monday, December 4, with a report of the death of a man at an address in High Street, Great Wakering.

“The 44-year-old man was sadly pronounced dead at the scene.

“His death is not being treated as suspicious.

“A file will be prepared for the coroner.”

One resident, who lives near the pub, said it was a shock to see the heavy police presence.

The resident, who has asked to remain anonymous because of the nature of the incident, said: “I woke up to some shouting early on Monday morning and realised that it was coming from behind the Anchor Pub in the High Street.

“Then all of a sudden a lot of police arrived within about five minutes.

“They were at the pub for the remainder of the day so it was apparent that something serious had taken place.

“It was awful to find out what had happened. I can’t believe someone has died there.

“It’s such a tragedy that someone has lost their life in that way - especially because it’s so close to Christmas.

“I really feel sorry for the man’s friends and family that will be dealing with this at what should be a happy time of year.”

An investigation will open to establish the circumstances that led to the man’s death at the County Coroners Court in Chelmsford.

It is not known if the Anchor pub has reopened since the incident and they have not been available for comment.