Tragic dad’s stair fall death

A DAD died after falling down the stairs and fracturing his skull just hours after enjoying a family Christening.

Retired railway engineer Derek Hood died at the University Hospital of Hartlepool after suffering a fractured skull.

The 61-year-old, of Ridlington Way, Hartlepool, was found at the foot of the stairs on a tiled floor.

He died as a result of a brain bleed resulting from the fracture, an inquest at Hartlepool Coroner’s Court heard.

Married Mr Hood, who relatives at the inquest described as a “brilliant dad and granddad”, had recently been diagnosed with a condition called plantiarfasciltis.

This is a painful inflammation of the tissue on the bottom of the foot and restricts circulation.

Hartlepool coroner Malcolm Donnelly said: “He had been to a family Christening on April 17 and had a bit of a drink as one would expect.

“We don’t actually know what happened.

“But what was believed to have happened is he had been at the top of the stairs and then somehow he had fallen.”

A relative who attended the hearing said it was not known whether Mr Hood had been going up the stairs or coming down.

Mr Donnelly said toxicology tests were conducted and results were consistent with him having a drink.

“He may have had eight pints or something, that’s of less consequence,” said Mr Donnelly.

“The important thing to know is there was nobody else involved here and somehow he lost his footing on the stairs whether coming down or going up. We do know he had a painful foot condition and he might have been unsteady on his feet.

“He might have missed his footing for whatever reason, it can happen to anybody.”

Mr Donnelly said police told him there were no suspicious circumstances surrounding Mr Hood’s death on April 18.

He added: “Everything I know is entirely consistent with an accidental fall and this crack on the head.”

He added: “I don’t think there’s anything else we can know or anything we can really find out.

“He had a really happy day and it was a tragedy for everybody else.

“It’s awful that the day should be remembered more for this than the happiness he enjoyed during the course of it.

“It’s an accident and I can’t reach any other sensible conclusion.”