Man died when he fell downstairs while drunk

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THE death of a man who fell downstairs while drunk was ruled an accident by a coroner.

An inquest heard that 54-year-old Ian Verge had been an alcoholic on and off for 20 years prior to his death at his home in Clydesdale Road, Whiteley.

He was found by a woman who called at his door at 6pm on September 11.

After knocking on the door, she saw him through the frosted glass lying at the bottom of his stairs and called police.

Coroner David Horsley, heard from Mr Verge’s son-in-law Jon Gibbens at yesterday’s inquest.

Mr Gibbens said he had tried to get help for his father-in-law’s drinking.

He said: ‘I had my first son and I thought it would be nice for him to get to know his grandson.

‘I tried to help him. I managed to get him sober but there is not a lot of help available especially as he seemed to not want to help himself.’

The coroner heard from detective sergeant Steve Toms, from Fratton police, who said that Mr Verge was a well-known alcoholic in Whiteley and he had often been seen to fall over and hurt himself.

Neighbours told police they heard loud bangs at around 2.30pm from Mr Verge’s house but they did not report them as it was nothing unusual.

A pathologist’s report said Mr Verge had 30 different injuries ranging in age when he was found, including bruises on his head and bleeding on his brain, and he was more than three times the drink-drive limit.

Despite these injuries, police ruled out foul play.

Mr Horsley ruled Mr Verge’s death as an accident. He said: ‘He has been at the top of the stairs and taken a tumble. He would not have been aware of anything from the moment he banged his head.’