Well-known Fakenham man’s death was caused by a fall at home

The death of a well-known Fakenham man has been recorded as being caused by an accidental fall at an inquest in Norwich.

William Barnes, of The Lawn, had previously served as the president of the Rotary Club of Fakenham and was known for his charity and community work in the town.

Mr Barnes passed away at the age of 78 at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital on Friday, January 31, having suffered a fall at home on New Year's Eve.

Norfolk coroner, William Armstrong, held an inquest hearing yesterday morning.

Mr Barnes' wife, Sandra, spoke of the circumstances which led to her husband's eventual death, saying: 'He suffered very poor health and had suffered various strokes throughout the last year. As a result he suffered from dementia.

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'Doctors described his prognosis to me in downward steps, as him as being on the final steps of his life.

'On December 31 we were at home and he was sitting in his armchair in the living room. I went out of the room to answer the phone and to make a cup of tea.

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'I went back in a few minutes later and he had fallen forwards out of his armchair and on to the floor and had a carpet burn on his temple on the left side of his head.'

Mrs Barnes then called an ambulance for help and eventually the fall led to her husband being admitted to hospital on Friday, January 6 as his condition worsened.

Mr Armstong explained that a postmortem examination has since discovered that a hematoma, created by the impact from Mr Barnes' fall, had played a big part in his eventual death.

Mrs Barnes went on to tell of how she and her husband have four children and five grandchildren and that her husband was a very accomplished model maker and received orders from all over the world.

His work with the Rotary Club of Fakenham, of which he was president in 2009, also saw him become well known for his charity work - such as collecting charity funds in the town's centre after the tsunami in Japan last year.

Mrs Barnes added: 'He was well known as a very quiet, gentle and friendly man. I have received in excess of 150 cards and letters, which I will endeavour to reply to all of. He was a wonderful man.'


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