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Newmarket man Robert Kent died as a result of a fall down the stairs, inquest hears

A nurse arrived home after a 12-hour shift at Addenbrooke’s Hospital to find her husband lying critically injured at the bottom of the stairs.

But although Susan Kent could see Robert Kent through the front door of their Newmarket home in Heathbell Road, she could not get to him because he had left the security chain on the door. She called the emergency services and as she waited talked to her husband through the door.

Paramedics arrived in 11 minutes and used bolt cutters to get in. They first treated Mr Kent, who had lost a considerable amount of blood as the result of an injury to his head caused by the fall, in the house before moving him into the garden so they had more space as they worked to try and save his life, but he died 45 minutes later.

Robert Kent's inquest was held in Ipswich
Robert Kent's inquest was held in Ipswich

An inquest in Ipswich on Friday heard that a post-mortem examination revealed Mr Kent had sustained a broken neck as the result of an unwitnessed fall down the stairs, and Suffolk coroner Tim Deeming recorded a narrative verdict that death was as a result of complications caused by the injury.

The hearing was told Mr Kent, who was 62, and a semi-retired materials handler who had worked for the NHS, died on October 30 last year. Two weeks previously he had been suffering with a swollen knee and had taken time off work to rest it it.

His wife, of 37 years, told the hearing she had left for work at 6.45am on the day he died and had later rung him to tell him she was heading home from work.

She said as a rule the couple had only used the security chain on the door when they were both in the house and it must have been accidentally left on on the day her husband died.

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