Final hours of man who died after Cornhill fall revealed at inquest opening

PUBLISHED: 14:06 11 February 2019 | UPDATED: 17:02 11 February 2019

John Stow, who died after a fall at the newly-revamped Ipswich Cornhill. Picture: COURTESY OF ANDREW PRYKE

John Stow, who died after a fall at the newly-revamped Ipswich Cornhill. Picture: COURTESY OF ANDREW PRYKE


The opening of an inquest into the death of a man who fell on the steps of the Cornhill in Ipswich has revealed his final hours.

The new look Ipswich Cornhill
Picture: DAVID VINCENTThe new look Ipswich Cornhill Picture: DAVID VINCENT

John Stow, 83, from east Ipswich, died on January 20 after he fell during a shopping trip.

Coroner Dr Dan Sharpstone told the inquest hearing at Suffolk Coroner’s Court in Ipswich that Mr Stow had been taken to Ipswich Hospital after the fall.

Dr Sharpstone said that Mr Stow had lost consciousness according to the Glasgow Coma Scale, which is used to determine the conscious state of a person.

Mr Stow was referred to surgeons at Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge but, after two CT scans, it was decided that no more could be done for him.

Dr Sharpstone said: “He was deemed unsuitable for surgery and he was given end of life care.”

The inquest has now been adjourned pending further inquiries.

Ipswich Borough Council has commissioned an independent expert to join its investigation into the safety of the rebuilt area of the Cornhill following the accident. It will try to work out what might be dangerous there – and what could be done to make the new Cornhill safer.

Officials at the borough said they had been told of seven accidents on the Cornhill since the changes – and all would be considered during the safety review.

The Health and Safety Executive (HE) has also been informed of the circumstances surrounding Mr Stow’s death.

Tributes paid to Mr Stow after the incident praised him as a “lovely” and “very quiet man”.

His sister Vivien Pryke, 79, said after the incident: “He was a lovely brother, a very quiet man. He was a bachelor and never married. He worked at Cranes and worked hard all his life.

”When he retired he looked after my mum. He was just a loving brother and I am so sad he has gone in this way.

“Nobody should end their life that way, I just can’t believe it.

“I am still in shock. I don’t know how or why he fell. He wasn’t young but he was able to go shopping alone and live independently, it shouldn’t have happened.”

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