Exmouth woman's death contributed by self-neglect, inquest heard

POLICE smashed their way into an Exmouth property and found the lifeless body of a reclusive pensioner whose death was contributed by self-neglect, an inquest heard. Dementia patient Jean Eva Bradford, of Maristow Avenue, was found dead by police at her h

POLICE smashed their way into an Exmouth property and found the lifeless body of a reclusive pensioner whose death was contributed by self-neglect, an inquest heard.

Dementia patient Jean Eva Bradford, of Maristow Avenue, was found dead by police at her home on March 15 last year.

The inquest was told officers were called after her family had not heard anything from her for a while.

In a statement read out by coroner Dr Elizabeth Earland from one of Mrs Bradford's neighbours, it said: "I called the police as I had not seen Jean for some time.


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"She was quite a recluse and would not engage with others. She would often not answer the door.

"My daughter reported her welfare and conditions to the doctor as it was starting to concern us."

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An inquest into Mrs Bradford's death was opened and adjourned on March 17 to await post-mortem reports. A report conducted by a consultant at Wonford Hopsital concluded she had died of hypothermia.

Dr Earland, reading to the court Mrs Bradford's recent medical history, said the pensioner had only visited her doctor on two occasions since 2007.

The court heard she was admitted to hospital in June that year after a slip down a bank when she damaged her wrist.

And Mrs Bradford was seen by a district nurse last year in relation to her dementia.

PC Matt Helm and Sergeant Phil Godfrey, of Exmouth police, visited her house on March 15 after a receiving a report from a neighbour, concerned about her welfare.

In a statement read out by coroner Dr Elizabeth Earland from PC Helm, he said having spoken to the neighbour about Jean, he established that entry needed to be gained to her home.

In Sgt Godfrey's statement, he confirmed police had to smash her front door to gain entry.

They found Mrs Bradford, who was born in Topsham in 1930, dead on the floor.

Paramedics found that she had rigomortis, which suggested she had been dead for some time.

In recording her verdict, Dr Earland, said: "There is nothing to suggest anything suspicious in her death."

Mrs Bradford had collapsed in a cold room in her home and on inspection of the property, there was no food in her cupboards.

Dr Earland added: "I am satisfied she did neglect herself. My verdict is accidental death, contributed by self neglect.

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