Pensioner died following fall at home, inquest hears

Basingstoke Gazette: Pensioner died following fall at home, inquest hears Pensioner died following fall at home, inquest hears

A BASINGSTOKE pensioner suffered fatal injuries when he fell in his home.

The body of Reginald Smith, 87, of Binfields Close, Chineham, was found on December 16, 2013, after neighbours grew concerned when they had not seen the lights on in his home for some nights.

The widower, known as Reg, had lived in the sheltered housing estate run by Hanover Housing Association for 26 years.

Pauline Basing, estate manager for Hanover, told the inquest at Alton Magistrates’ Court: “Reg was an active person who socialised off the estate and went to golf off the estate but we met in passing.

“On December 16, another resident said they hadn’t seen the lights on in the property, especially the bedroom light, for some nights so I knocked on the door. There was no reply, and I phoned but had no reply.

“I left it a little while because we have a shopping centre nearby. I tried to phone one of his sons because I thought they might be there.”

Mrs Basing told the inquest that she and a colleague then used the master key for the property to open the front door, and found the father-of-two sons on the floor near the doorway, before calling the emergency services.

Basingstoke PC Tom Howarth told the inquest: “He was fully clothed and was wearing a sweater, trousers and shoes and his coat was laid out next to him. Everything appeared to be in place. The flat was tidy and at the bottom of the staircase was an emergency cord and it was intact.”

Mr Smith’s son, David Smith, 56, who lives in Farnborough, told the inquest: “He was able to look after himself, and he was an active person.”

North East Hampshire coroner Andrew Bradley recorded a verdict of accidental death after hearing that Mr Smith had suffered a fractured skull and a brain bleed. He said: “It is the fall that has triggered the death.”

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