Inquest into 'truly sad' death of man who fell on Cornhill steps

John Stow died after an accidental fall on the newly-revamped Ipswich Cornhill

John Stow died after an accidental fall on the newly-revamped Ipswich Cornhill - Credit: Andrew Pryke

An inquest into the death of a man who fell on the newly-revamped steps of Ipswich's Cornhill has heard how it was "truly sad" to see him lose his life.

Retired bachelor John Stow, from east Ipswich, had visited the market on January 19, 2019 and bought fish from a market stall for his rescue cat, Rosie.

The 83-year-old fell down new steps on the Cornhill, which had only been unveiled a few months earlier after a multi-million pound revamp.

The former factory worker was taken to hospital but died on January 20, after his condition deteriorated rapidly.

During an inquest held at Suffolk Coroners' Court in Ipswich on Monday, Lucy Young of Young's Fish said it was "horrific" to see him fall.

"He was quite spritely in his walk and I truly don't think for one moment that he even saw the steps in front of him," she said.

"I am truly sad this Ipswich man lost his life."

Mr Stow's sister, Vivien Pryke, described him as a family man who had many friends and lived an independent life in his retirement after working at Cranes.

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He enjoyed stamp collecting, was an avid gardener who studied fossils and shells and had always been an animal lover.

The new-look Ipswich Cornhill before additional work had been done to make it more safe

The new-look Ipswich Cornhill before additional work had been done to make it more safe - Credit: Paul Geater

Following Mr Stow's death, Ipswich Borough Council completed several pieces of work to improve the safety of the new Cornhill area, including new hand rails and tactile paving.

Assistant coroner Catherine Wood recorded a conclusion of accidental death and commended the council on its subsequent safety work.

A spokesperson for Ipswich council expressed condolences towards Mr Stow's family and added: "The Cornhill redevelopment has been assessed by two independent experts, one from the Health and Safety Executive, both of whom considered it in light of the death of Mr Stow.

"It was found to be compliant with the relevant guidelines."

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