Woman died after falling on market steps

Molly Mead who died in Durham's Market Place
Molly Mead who died in Durham's Market Place
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A WOMAN died after falling down steps in the centre of Durham City.

Molly Mead, 81, took a ‘funny turn’ at the top of the steps in Market Place before falling forward and banging her head, an inquest was told.

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Pc Liam Robertson said he was with 20 trainee officers on September 27, last year, when he saw Mrs Mead a few metres from the Londonderry statue.

“Her eyes closed for a couple of seconds and she appeared unsteady on her feet,” added Pc Robertson. “That’s why she caught my eye.

“I watched her fall forward over the three steps.

“She made no attempt to break the fall by putting out her arms, and she hit the ground head first.

“Paramedics were on the scene in a matter of minutes and she appeared to regain consciousness and tried to speak.”

The hearing at the coroner’s court in Crook was told Mrs Mead, of Aykley Green, Durham City, died a few hours later in University Hospital, Durham.

An accident and emergency consultant said she died from head injuries, and she had pre-existing high blood pressure.

Mrs Mead’s daughter, Rachel Garrill, said: “I wondered if the steps had anything to do with it, but it seems my mother just happened to be standing near them when she was taken ill.

“She was very wary of the steps and didn’t like the way Market Place was revamped, she thought it was a waste of money.”

North Durham Coroner Andrew Tweddle said: “The death was as a result of Mrs Mead taking a funny turn and falling, rather than as a result of where she fell.

“Experience tells me people, especially elderly people, can suffer serious head injuries when falling for only a short distance onto a hard surface,”

Verdict: Natural causes.