Woman found dead at bottom of stairs

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AN independent elderly woman died after falling down the stairs at home.

Mrs Jenny Baines (90) died on February 3rd after suffering the fall at her home in Briercliffe Road, Burnley.

An inquest at Burnley Coroner’s Court heard from her son, Mr Stanley Baines, who said she was “very independent but not very mobile”.

He said: “My mother was very independent and wouldn’t let anybody help her. She had previously been in hospital and I don’t think she was fit to come home but she wanted to. It had been suggested that her bed be moved downstairs at her home but she didn’t want that. She had difficulty getting up steps because her legs were swollen.”

Care worker Mrs Julie Wilkinson found Mrs Baines lying at the bottom of her stairs on the morning of February 3rd.

She said: “I don’t think Mrs Baines ever made it up to bed because the upstairs light and her electric blanket were still on. These would have been turned on by my colleague the night before. Her walking frame was parked at the bottom of the stairs so I don’t think she’d used it.”

Pathologist Dr Zuhair Twaij, who conducted the post-mortem examination, said Mrs Baines had suffered five broken ribs, a broken sternum and cracked verterbrae in her neck.

He said the injuries were consistent with a fall down the steps and gave the cause of death as chest injury.

Recording a verdict of accidental death, East Lancashire coroner Mr Richard Taylor said: “It appears Mrs Baines overbalanced while trying to climb the stairs in her home but we will never know exactly.”