A DEVASTATED husband found his wife dead after she fell down the stairs in what has been described as a tragic accident.
Emergency services were called to a house in The Grove, Greatham, in Hartlepool, after her distraught husband made the discovery on Saturday night.
The woman, named locally as Pauline Bottomley, 59, is believed to have died after suffering a head injury when she fell down the stairs.
It came after she had spent the afternoon socialising with family and friends in the village.
She was found by her shocked husband when he arrived home at around 7pm.
Police say inquiries are ongoing, but Mrs Bottomley’s death is being treated as a tragic accident.
A Hartlepool Police spokesman said: “She had fallen down the stairs and sustained a head injury which proved to be fatal.
“Her husband came home and found her. It has been a big shock to all of her family.
“It appears to be a tragic accident.
“She had been out with family and friends on the afternoon which was a regular occurrence.
“It is not being treated as suspicious.”
A postmortem examination will be held to establish the cause of death.
An ambulance crew also attended the scene, but sadly it was too late to save Mrs Bottomley.
A spokesman for the North East Ambulance Service said: “We did attend an address in The Grove, but weren’t required on the scene.”