Burnley man (42) drowned in bath


An epilepsy sufferer from Burnley drowned in his own bath after suffering a seizure.

Mr Damian Hill (42) was discovered laying face down in the bath by his mother Margaret at their home in Cromer Avenue on January 31st.

An inquest at Burnley Coroner’s Court heard that Mr Hill had been born with significant health problems.

She said: “Damian suffered from convulsions from an early age and diagnosed with epilepsy aged seven, but he had a happy life.

“He was on medication but had a paralysis on his left side. Damian went to a special school in Harrogate, and then lived in residential accommodation before coming to live with me when he was 22.”

Mrs Hill told the hearing that she would help to wash her son and that he knew he should not go to the bathroom himself.

She added that Damian was later diagnosed with hydrocephalus, but following an operation his behaviour changed and he became distant and stubborn.

She added: “I don’t know why he chose to try to bath himself.”

Pathologist Dr Abdul Al-Dawoud, who conducted the post-mortem examination, gave the cause of death as drowning, but said further investigation of the brain showed that Mr Hill had suffered a seizure.

He said: “The lungs were hyper-inflated which is clear evidence of drowning, but we had to discover how he drowned.

“Examination of the brain by a specialist revealed that there was a blockage in one of the cavities which must have caused the fit.

“Therefore the cause of death was seizure-related drowning.”

East Lancashire Coroner Mr Richard Taylor said: “If Mr Hill had died from the seizure that would be a natural cause of death. However, he drowned because of the fit.

“Therefore the appropriate conclusion is one of accidental death.”