Midhurst woman's body found at the bottom of her stairs

Common View, Stedham. Picture: Google Maps
Common View, Stedham. Picture: Google Maps

A Midhurst woman whose body was found at the bottom of her stairs by her daughter died by accident, an inquest heard.

Julia Cook, 74, was found dead at her home in Common View, Stedham, on October 5, having last been seen on Tuesday, October 2, when her daughter took her shopping.

Coroner Christopher Wilkinson said it was likely she had died later that day after suffering a head injury from falling down the stairs.

He said: “She would have lost consciousness very quickly.

“It might provide a little bit of comfort that she wasn’t lying alone for days waiting to be found.”

The inquest heard how Mrs Cook occasionally suffered from episodes akin to a ‘electric shock’ in her brain after being hit by a lorry as a child, leaving her with a head injury.

Around 15 years ago, she fell down the same set of stairs due to one of these episodes - but Mr Wilkinson was unable to say whether this was a cause of her death.

He said: “Tragically, this really was an accidental event that she couldn’t have predicted or tried to avoid.”