Ipswich: Dad dies after falling down stairs on Portugal holiday

IPSWICH: A father-of-two died after falling down a flight of stairs while on holiday in Portugal, an inquest has heard.

Richard Payne, of Hadleigh Road, Ipswich, stumbled over an uneven set of steps at around 3am after socialising in a bar on September 16 last year.

Witnesses described hearing a loud thud when he banged his head.

His inquest at the IP-City centre in Ipswich heard yesterday how paramedics arrived at the scene five minutes later, but were unable to revive him.

He was pronounced dead at 4am and the cause of death later given as an intracranial haemorrhage – bleeding within the skull.

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Greater Suffolk Coroner Dr Peter Dean praised the fast action of the Portuguese paramedics, but said it was a tragedy they were unable to save him.

Mr Payne, 36, had a history of heart conditions linked to congenital heart disease, and also had a hole in his heart, which was on the wrong side of his chest, it was heard.

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He had numerous tests and had surgery on the problems and was feeling much better before leaving for his holiday.

Dr Dean said: “It was tragic that he felt better than in a long time just before his death.”

The inquest heard that after arriving late in the evening on September 15 last year in Albufeira, Mr Payne left his baggage at his hotel before meeting a friend in a nearby bar, where they spent a few hours socialising with the owner.

They left the bar at 3am, shortly before Mr Payne fell. The coroner recorded a verdict of accidental death.

Soon after the accident, friends set up a Facebook page called Richard Payne – A Page for Tributes.

A tribute left by Sara White read: “Richard – you treated my two boys (Jonathan and Alexander) like brothers. For that, I thank you. You will be very greatly missed. Rest in peace.”

Another message, from John Sandell, said: “Gone, but never forgotten. RIP and sleep well old mate.”

Another friend, Dave Lockwood, said: “Richard such a shame a nice bloke for a Forest fan will miss you mate and the banter a mighty tree has fallen rest in peace mate.”

n Would you like to pay tribute to Mr Payne? Write to Your Letters, The Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN.

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