Inquest records grandfather’s fall as accident

A grandfather died after falling down the stairs holding a glass of wine, an inquest heard yesterday.

Retired consultant haematologist Christopher Raper was found lying at the bottom of the stairs at his home in Sunningwell, Abingdon, by his daughter Rachel Austen on September 13.

The inquest at Oxfordshire Coroner’s Court heard that 72-year-old Dr Raper had suffered a stroke two years ago, had prostate cancer and was a heavy drinker.

A toxicology report found he was two and a half times the drink drive limit and he had died following a severe head injury in which he sustained a large skull fracture.

In a statement read to the inquest, detective sergeant Alun Watkins said: “It appeared that he may have fallen down some or all of the stairs while holding a glass of wine.”

Deputy Oxfordshire coroner Nicholas Gardiner recorded a verdict of accident.

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