Inquest heard Norwich man died soon after returning from family holiday

A Norwich man returning from a family holiday in Spain suffered a minor injury which led to his death, an inquest had heard.

A Norwich man returning from a family holiday in Spain suffered a minor injury which led to his death, an inquest has heard.

Robert Browne, 69 and of Gristock Place, near Dereham Road, also had a number of complex medical problems which contributed to his death on September 26 2010 at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital.

Today's inquest heard differing accounts of what happened once the in-bound flight to Stansted had landed, and Jacqueline Lake, deputy coroner for Norfolk, underlined that the purpose of the inquest was not to apportion blame but to investigate how Mr Browne died.

On September 21 2010 Mr Browne had been returning from a holiday with his wife Jennifer Browne and their granddaughter. Mrs Browne said her husband was a wheelchair user and was given assistance getting off the plane.


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Mrs Browne said the people that assisted her husband tried to lift him manually first but then used two seat belt extensions buckled together and placed around his chest to move him from his seat to an aisle chair.

She said she had asked them to be careful because her husband had gout, and she said when he was moved Mr Browne had cried out in pain.

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Stephen Clark and Adrian Koziak, who work for special assistance provider ISS and have done their jobs for a number of years, both said they do not use straps to move passengers. Mr Clark said he remembered very little about what happened and as far as he can remember they carried out the job as normal. Mr Koziak said he did not remember anything about the manoeuvre.

The court heard Mr Browne was seen by a doctor a couple of times in the days after his holiday for various reasons. On September 26 his condition deteriorated and when paramedics were called a bruise was found under his left armpit.

A postmortem examination found the main cause of Mr Browne's death was 1(a) bronchopneumonia and a large left chest wall hematoma and 1(b) anticoagulation for deep vein thrombosis.

Dr Ahsan Ali, who supervised the postmortem examination, said because Mr Browne had been taking Warfarin therapy a relatively minor trauma could cause a significant hematoma.

In summing up Mrs Lake said the medical evidence was the hematoma was a large contributing factor to Mr Browne's death, and she said the bruising in Mr Browne's armpit was consistent with Mr Browne being moved either manually or by straps on the plane. She said she was not making any finding about whether the straps were used or not because it was not necessary having heard the medical evidence.

Mrs Lake recorded a narrative verdict. She said Mr Browne suffered a minor injury to his chest whilst being lifted from an aircraft seat to an aisle chair which led to his death. She said this was contributed to by a background of underlying serious medical conditions.

She also expressed her sympathy to Mr Browne's family.

• emma.knights@archant.co.uk

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