89-year-old man died after breaking hip in snow and lying on kitchen floor for four days, inquest hears

PUBLISHED: 11:04 16 October 2018 | UPDATED: 12:09 16 October 2018

The Coroners Court at Beacon House, White House Road, Ipswich

The Coroners Court at Beacon House, White House Road, Ipswich


An 89-year-old Lowestoft man who fell and broke his hip in the snow died after lying on his kitchen floor for four days, an inquest heard.

Frederick Seymour, of Windor Road, had been putting his bins out when he suffered the fall on March 1, but his 58-year-old son was unable to call an ambulance because of a “lack of social understanding.”

An inquest into his death, on March 15, was held on Monday, which would have been Mr Seymour’s 90th birthday.

Assistant coroner Kevin McCarthy said he was living independently with his 58-year-old son Derek, with separate bedrooms and living room.

He said Derek, who, although had never been diagnosed, was believed to have autism, had tried to move Mr Seymour onto a sofa but could not lift him so attended to his father while he lay on the floor, bringing him food and water.

Mr McCarthy said Mr Seymour, a retired funeral director, had declined medical attention.

His daughter, who lives far away, later discovered the full extent of what was happening and called an ambulance.

Mr Seymour was admitted to the James Paget Hospital on March 5 and underwent a hip operation the following day.

However, despite the operation being deemed a success, Mr Seymour’s health soon deteriorated and he passed away on March 15.

Mr McCarthy said: “It is likely the pre-existing conditions were worsened by physical and emotional stress.”

A police investigation was launched to look into Mr Seymour’s death and his son Derek was questioned under caution.

Following the investigation, police decided not to take no further action.

Mr McCarthy said: “There was not felt to be any criminal intent or malicious actions.

“Not getting him to hospital was due to a lack of social understanding.”

A post mortem revealed the cause of death was multi-organ failure, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and fractured operated femur.

Mr McCarthy concluded Mr Seymour’s death as a result of an accident.

He said: “This is a sad case on all sorts of levels.

“It is sad because the question does hang in the air if Fred would be here today blowing out 90 candles with his family. He seemed to be a hard-working man and a man who knew where his priorities were – with his family.”

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