A RETIRED civil servant's death was ruled an accident, an inquest heard.

Sidney Ruffell, 88, who worked for AWE at Aldermaston, and lived at Bellevue in Whitchurch, was on the way to Andover to have a hair cut when he fell backwards and hit the kerb, causing a “massive haemorrhage” near Black Swan car park on November 4 2019.

The 88-year-old was rushed to Royal Hampshire County Hospital in Winchester after South Central Ambulance Service arrived at 16.39pm.

Paramedics found him unconscious, confused and disorientated.

Sidney was unable to respond to questions or recognise his wife at the hospital, the court heard.

The CT scan showed a “massive bleed on the brain” and the frontal spine of his skull was found broken.

Doctors decided that he was not suitable for surgery and was closely monitored for 24 hours.

Area Coroner, Rosamund Rhodes-Kemp said: “Sidney had been having falls and suffered from spinal stenosis, and developed neuropathy and had diabetes.

"He had fallen twice in September and November 2019 and sustained a significant head injury on November 4. The fall, no doubt, caused his death.

“He liked to be known as Sid and was married to Sylvia Upton where they bought their first house together in 1988. Sidney kept Sylvia safe and well and loved his garden, collecting the newspapers for himself and the neighbours.

“He had unstable legs for the last 12 months. He was stubborn and refused to use handrails or a walking stick.

"He died at Royal Hampshire County Hospital on November 7 2019. His death was an accident.

"Sidney was very lively and active before his fall. To lose anybody is very difficult."