Pensioner dies following fall

PUBLISHED: 11:00 13 January 2011

Coroner's Court

Coroner's Court

Copyright Archant Ltd

A RECLUSIVE pensioner died after he fell and hit his head and lay unfound for what could have been several days.

Richard Hobbs, of Coleridge Gardens in Burnham, had not seen a doctor since 2002, pulled his own teeth, cut his own hair and wore his late wife’s reading glasses so that he did not have to go out the house.

The retired draftsman and carpenter had become a recluse following his wife’s death and weighed just over eight stones when he died.

He was found on his living room floor on October 24 last year and died at Weston General Hospital the following day.

He body was identified by his niece the same day.

An inquest into his death, held at Flax Bourton Coroners Court, heard how a neighbour had realised there was a problem when they noticed a number of newspapers sticking out of the 84-year-old’s letter box and they phoned the authorities.

When they went inside they found he had a head injury and nasty pressure sores and it was later discovered he also had multiple organ failure and sepsis of the urinary tract.

Assistant deputy coroner Phillip Howells recorded a verdict of accidental death, at the inquest held on January 5.

He said: “He died of multiple organ failure caused by the problem with the urinary tract.

“He may have been lying on the floor with the head injury for a number of days.”

Mr Howells concluded that the brain injury was not the direct cause of death as there was no brain haemorrhage, but that because the pensioner had been lying on the floor as a result of the injury, that then lead to the other problems and resulted in the organ failure.

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