Stephen Georgeson - known as Squeek or Stevie - was found at the top of a staircase outside a flat on Houghton Road, Thurnscoe, on June 5 last year.
Although six arrests were made at the time, police decided to take no action despite him dying just two days later.
Barnsley Hospital staff alerted police about their concerns of a possible assault, and officers attended the flat that evening.
Police found ‘evidence of blood’ on a door frame, and a message on a whiteboard regarding Stevie being kicked out of the flat where he was staying temporarily ‘because of the state of it’.
After being admitted to hospital, Mr Georgeson underwent an urgent CT scan, which found bleeding in his skull and a compressed brain.
He was ventilated in critical care, but was pronounced dead at 5.14pm on June 7.
Pathologist Dr Charles Wilson told Wednesday’s inquest: “His injuries were too far advanced for surgery.
“He had had at least three previous episodes of head trauma and signs of significant head injury, and was drinking around nine litres of cider a day.”
He concluded that Mr Georgeson’s medical cause of death was from a head injury and alcohol dependency.
Dr Wilson said Mr Georgeson was found to have injuries that were ‘not fresh’ and that ‘older injuries from days or weeks ago may have contributed’ to his head injuries.
Assistant coroner Abigail Combes concluded that between June 3 and June 5, Mr Georgeson was ‘subject to assault and accidental injury’, but it was ‘impossible to say which injury proved to be fatal’.