A mother-of-one who worked with vulnerable children died after she fell down stairs in her home and cracked her skull on tiled flooring following a night-in drinking wine.
Jill Brundrett, 57, was almost three times over the drink drive limit when she lost her balance and fell backwards as she made her way to bed.
But despite leaving a pool of blood after hitting her head on the hallway floor, Ms Brundrett failed to seek medical assistance and got into bed instead.
Jill Brundrett, 57, lost her balance and fell backwards down stairs at her home in Royton, Greater Manchester
She was found later that evening with blood coming from a head wound by her long-term partner who had been out at their local pub in Royton, near Oldham, Greater Manchester.
Ms Brundrett was was taken to Salford Royal Hospital hospital which revealed she had suffered major trauma to the skull.
She underwent an emergency operation, but despite medical intervention she never recovered and died five days later.
An inquest was told the tragedy occurred on November 14 last year after Ms Brundrett, who taught vulnerable children at a local secondary school, had returned from work and cooked dinner for daughter Helen Perkin, 23, and Helen’s boyfriend.
The couple retired to bed but Ms Brundrett stayed up drinking wine.
Accountant Jonathan Perkin, 65, Jill’s partner of 31 years, told the hearing: ‘Jill was a teaching assistant and looked after vulnerable children and enjoyed spending time with her family.
‘She had been diagnosed with high blood pressure but had no other health problems.
The mother-of-one was making her way to bed after a night-in drinking wine on November 14 last year
‘She wasn’t a person who drunk an excessive amount of alcohol, just a glass of wine with soda usually.
‘On November 14 she went to work as normal and usually arrived home about 3.30pm, she was her usual self.
‘I was out and returned home about 11.30pm and as I arrived home I could see the bedroom light on which was unusual.
‘As I entered the property I noticed a hot water bottle on the floor and a glass that had been smashed to pieces. I also saw a pool of blood in the hallway near to the stairs. I found Jill in bed underneath the covers and she was bleeding from her ear.
‘She was covered in blood but she said that all she wanted to do was sleep – she seemed drowsy.
‘I woke up Andrew, my daughter’s boyfriend, who is first aid trained and he told me to phone an ambulance.
‘When we arrived at the hospital they told us that Jill has bleeding under the skull. She underwent surgery but shortly deteriorated and passed away.’
Despite her fall, the teaching assistant got into bed and was found later that night by her long-term partner who said she seemed ‘drowsy’ and had blood leaking from a gash on her head
In a statement read to the court, Ms Brundrett’s daughter Helen Perkin said: ‘On November 14 I came home from work about 7pm.
‘My mother was already home and was her normal self, cooking dinner. At about 9.30pm myself and my partner Andrew went up to bed leaving mum where she had been.
‘I imagine she would have had one glass of wine. I didn’t hear anything, it was only when my dad came into the room that we realised something was wrong.’
Det Insp Kenny Blain of Greater Manchester Police said: ‘Jill’s partner and daughter told me she had been taking medication for high blood pressure.
‘She would often take a glass of water up to bed with her and there were no side effects of drinking alcohol with her medication.
‘All the signs suggested that she had fallen on the floor of the hall which was tiled. I believe she fell backwards from the lower part of the staircase.
A toxicology report showed Ms Brundrett had 219 milligrammes of alcohol in 100 mililitres of blood – the legal drink driving limit being 80mg.
Toxicologist Julie Evans said: ‘This is a large amount of alcohol and in a normal social drinker this could be a sign of marked intoxication.’
Recording a conclusion of accidental death, Coroner Michael Salt said: ‘Jill Brundrett was 57 years-of-age and was with family at home.
‘Her partner went to the pub and within moments or hours she is in hospital in a very poorly state.
‘There may be questions I will never have the answers to. By some means of going to bed she has lost her balance and fallen backwards down stairs and banged her head.
‘She was able to pick herself up and get to bed and on the return of her partner, he had cause for concern.
‘Immediately the family called for medical assistance. Sadly, the injuries were too severe for recovery to be made and she has passed away at Salford Royal Hospital on the 19th of November 2017.
‘The evidence suggest she might have had something to drink which did not help but people fall without anything to drink so that is not necessarily a factor here.’