A Bognor man who ‘had a lot of love for his family’ died after accidentally falling down stairs at his home and fracturing his skull, an inquest heard.
Bognor man James ‘Jimmy’ Colwell was found dead at his home in Oak Grove on the morning of August 28, 2017.
His housemate, who had returned to the property in the early hours of that morning, found him at the bottom of the stairs but thought he was asleep, only to then find him in the same position the following morning.
An inquest, held today (Tuesday, March 20) at Crawley Coroner’s Court heard the father-of-three builder was well known in the town.
Senior coroner’s officer Jemma Gaule said: “He had a lot of love for his family and they were all looked after well. Jimmy was a very sociable person and enjoyed being out and about.
“He had been involved at Bognor Rugby Club for many years and went there most weekends drinking socially.
“On the weekend of Jimmy’s death he had attended both a 30th birthday party on the Saturday and a christening on Sunday, it’s likely he would have consumed a large amount of alcohol over these two days.”
The inquest was told that Mr Colwell went to a pub after the christening and got a taxi home at 9pm with a friend, who travelled on to their address.
Mrs Gaule said: “Jimmy’s housemate came home at 2.24am and upon entering the house he found Jimmy lying on the floor at the foot of the stairs.
“Thinking he was asleep he went to bed, leaving Jimmy where he was.
“It was not unusual for Jimmy to fall asleep in his house if he’d been drinking.
“The following day his housemate got up and found Jimmy in the same place, he also noticed blood around his body so called for an ambulance and his death was confirmed by paramedics at 12.08pm.
“A police investigation found no suspicious circumstances and no third party involvement.”
A toxicology report found ‘significant amounts of alcohol’ in his body as well as levels of amphetamine ‘consistent with recreational use’, the inquest heard.
Recording a verdict of accidental death, assistant coroner Dr David Skipp said: “I’m sure he would have been fairly unsteady and I conclude that he fell down the stairs sustaining the injuries.”
In a statement, Sussex Police said a 50-year-old man from Bognor Regis, known to Mr Colwell, who was arrested on suspicion of murder at the time has now been told ‘he is no longer under investigation’.
Following his death, his children Jade and Jordan paid tribute to their dad, while Bognor Rugby Club said he would be ‘sorely missed’. https://www.bognor.co.uk/news/crime/death-of-bognor-man-no-longer-suspicious-1-8418593