El­derly man im­paled on knife in tragic fall

The Scarborough Evening News - - WELCOME TO YOUR NEWS -

An el­derly man died when he fell on his own knife af­ter chop­ping veg­etable for his much-loved rab­bits.

In what the coro­ner de­scribed as a “tragic ac­ci­dent”, Brian Rum­ford suf­fered a stab wound to the chest be­lieved to have been caused when he fell on his knife af­ter feed­ing his rab­bits.

The 79-year-old, of Pot­ter Bromp­ton, was found by his close neigh­bour af­ter the cou­ple sus­pected some­thing was wrong when Mr Rum­ford’s door was left open.

He was found near his gar­den shed on June 16 last year, col­lapsed and un­re­spon­sive. On fur­ther ex­am­i­na­tion, a knife was found em­bed­ded in his chest.

Mr Rum­ford’s neigh­bour, who de­scribed the 79-year-old as like a sur­ro­gate grandad, was alerted to the in­ci­dent by his wife who had gone round to check on Mr Rum­ford.

He said: “When I ap­proached him I knew he had died. He was cold, hard and stiff, not like some­one who had fainted.”

The post-mortem re­vealed the knife had sev­ered the left ven­tri­cle and the pathol­o­gist said it would have led to a “tor­ren­tial loss of con­scious­ness in death”.

Mr Rum­ford had a his­tory of heart dis­ease and was fit­ted with a de­fib­ril­la­tor pace­maker. He also suf­fered from se­vere atheroma which could have sud­denly and un­ex­pect­edly caused him to fall.

He had fallen six months prior to his death, but had no rec­ol­lec­tion of the fall and it was put down to low blood sugar. There had been no other in­ci­dent since.

Coro­ner Michael Oak­ley reached the con­clu­sion of ac­ci­den­tal death at the in­quest held at Scar­bor­ough Town Hall on Fe­bru­ary 16.

The de­tec­tive sergeant in­volved with the in­ves­ti­ga­tions said there were no sus­pi­cious cir­cum­stances sur­round­ing his death and agreed with the coro­ner’s ques­tion that he saw this as a “tragic ac­ci­dent”.

It also did not ap­pear to be a de­lib­er­ate at­tempt to end his life. Although very un­com­mon, the most likely sce­nario was that Mr Rum­ford fell and im­paled him­self on the knife.

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