Man died from brain injury after fall at home

PUBLISHED: 11:09 20 February 2015

County Hall in Exeter.

County Hall in Exeter.


An Exmouth man was found dead at home after falling and hitting his head on a chair, an inquest has heard.

Ian Gordon, who was 66, lived in Victoria Road in a terraced house divided into flats.

The inquest heard that Mr Gordon’s neighbour, with whom he was on nodding terms, noticed around July 3 last year that he had not collected his mail. While it was not unusual for Mr Gordon to go away for weeks at a time, he normally let his neighbour know.

Over the following days, the neighbour enquired after Mr Gordon around pubs in the town, becoming increasingly concerned, and on July 10 called the police.

Officers gained entry to Mr Gordon’s flat and found him lying on the floor.

The flat was untidy, with several extension cables running across the floor, and Mr Gordon’s head was near a chair, on which police found blood.

A post-mortem report found that Mr Gordon had suffered a brain injury, which the pathologist ruled was the cause of death.

The inquest heard that Mr Gordon was said to have a history of heavy drinking, however, a toxicology report found that there was only a very negligible amount of alcohol in his system.

At the hearing at County Hall, deputy coroner for Exeter and Greater Devon, John Tomalin, said that while there were no witnesses to the incident, it was most likely on the balance of probabilities that Mr Gordon had died due to tripping and hitting his head.

Mr Tomalin said: “It appears to me not unreasonable, being found where he was with the chair immediately in front of him, with the clutter as shown, that he has tripped, and as he has fallen hit his head on the chair, which caused the head injury from which he died. The correct conclusion would be one of accidental death, and in the absence of further evidence that is what I will record.”

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