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Former sales director from near Bury St Edmunds died after falling down stairs of home, inquest told



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A former sales director known for his 'sociable' manner and who encouraged his children to 'aim high' died after falling down the stairs of his home, an inquest heard.

Alan Dodds, 56, was found by a friend at the bottom of the stairs of his home in Warren Hill Cottages, in Herringswell, on August 15 last year.

The inquest at Suffolk Coroner's Court in Ipswich today heard how he was admitted to Addenbrooke's Hospital, Cambridge, where he received care for over two weeks before it was decided, due to no improvement in his level of consciousness and an MRI showing widespread brain damage, he would be taken off life support.

Suffolk Coroners Court, Ipswich. Picture: Mark Westley.
Suffolk Coroners Court, Ipswich. Picture: Mark Westley.

Mr Dodds, born in Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire, was divorced from his wife in 2015 and broke his leg in the same year which led to ongoing mobility issues.

The inquest was told that Mr Dodds had been drinking more alcohol since he broke his leg.

In addition, paramedics found records while en route to Addenbrooke's Hospital stating Mr Dodds was alcohol-dependent.

Suffolk Coroners Court, Ipswich. Picture: Mark Westley.
Suffolk Coroners Court, Ipswich. Picture: Mark Westley.

At the time of his death, Mr Dodds had also been taking various medications and had a history of depression, insomnia and anxiety.

In a statement to the court, Mr Dodds' daughter, Tabitha Dodds, said her father was a skilled salesman who had owned his own company from 1999 to 2005.

“He was a great character,” she said.

“Very sociable and was a regular at any pub. He encouraged his children to aim high.”

Suffolk Coroners Court, Ipswich. Picture: Mark Westley.
Suffolk Coroners Court, Ipswich. Picture: Mark Westley.

Issuing his conclusion, Christopher Long, assistant coroner, said: “I am mindful that there was some evidence of intoxication.

“I am also mindful that Alan had previously broken his leg and had had issues with mobility.”

However, giving a medical cause of death, Mr Long cited traumatic brain injury and a fall.

He also gave a verdict of accidental death.

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