Horsham woman’s death ruled accidental

The inquest was held at Crawley Coroner's Court
The inquest was held at Crawley Coroner's Court

A woman died after falling at her Horsham home, an inquest has heard.

Doreen Hughes, of Brambling Close, died at East Surrey Hospital on December 16 last year.

At an inquest into her death assistant coroner for West Sussex Joanne Andrews concluded the 83-year-old died an accidental death.

In evidence read out by coroners’ officer Amy Lelliott, the inquest heard Mrs Hughes had been in good health until 1996 when she was diagnosed with a benign brain tumour.

She had an operation to remove the tumour and following the surgery Mrs Hughes had to learn to speak again.

The inquest heard her speech never fully recovered and had declined over the last two years but she was perfectly happy sitting on the sofa watching TV and knitting.

On December 8 Mrs Hughes and her husband were watching TV before they went to bed. The following morning Mr Hughes heard a loud bang and found her at the bottom of the stairs.

She was taken to East Sussex Hospital where scans showed she had a broken collarbone and two broken ribs.

On December 15 she rapidly deteriorated and she died a day later, the inquest heard.

A postmortem found her primary cause of death was bronchopneumonia and a traumatic rib fracture as a result of a fall.

Mrs Andrews concluded Mrs Hughes died an accidental death.