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Man died in Dublin from exposure after falling down stairs

NewsBy Sunday World
Man died in Dublin from exposure after falling down stairs

A MAN who fell down stairs at his apartment block developed hypothermia after lying in the hallway overnight, an inquest heard. John Lynch (58) had a few drinks with a neighbour at Lower Dominic St, Dublin 1 before he fell down the stairs and later died.

Neighbour Zhelena Borisova passed the man lying in the hallway on her way to work at 5.10am.

“I saw a figure of what looked like a man lying at the bottom of the stairs. I passed by, opened the door and left. I didn’t want to wake the person as I was a little scared,” she said.

Answering questions from the coroner, Ms Borisova said she had to pass quite close to the man to exit the building but she thought he was sleeping.

She did not recognise him as her neighbour.

Mr Lynch was discovered unconscious by June Carass shortly after noon the following day. He had left her apartment around 4am the night before. He was wearing flip flops. 

“John left my apartment in great form, he was a little tipsy. I was up on Sunday morning pottering around cleaning up when I heard the phone ring downstairs,” she said.

She opened the door and saw Mr Lynch lying at the bottom of the stairs. She tried CPR but he was unresponsive.

Mr Lynch was cold on admission to hospital and his temperature was not recordable. He was admitted to the intensive care unit where he remained unresponsive.

He was pronounced dead by Dr Aine O’Gara at the Department of Critical Care at the Mater Hospital at 1.10am on April 27, 2015. The cause of death was severe head injuries consistent with a fall.

Mr Lynch sustained a fractured skull in the fall and went on to develop blood clots that put pressure on his brain.

Alcohol intoxication was a contributory factor, according to the pathologist. Mr Lynch had a blood-alcohol level of 177mg per 100ml on entering hospital.

Garda Gregory Dunne, of Store Street Garda Station, said the apartment building is quite old with steep stairs.

“If he wasn’t wearing proper footwear there’s a very good possibility that he stumbled down the stairs,” he said.

Coroner Dr Myra Cullinane returned a verdict of accidental death.

“That was something so unexpected and unfortunately with devastating and fatal results,” the coroner said, extending her sympathies to the family.

Via Herald.ie/Louise Roseingrave