Sutton, Alfred

Sutton, Alfred         1917 December 28th

Elderly Man’s Fatal Fall

An inquest was held by the City Coroner (Mr A M Wilson) on Friday evening at the Wyndham Arm’s Hotel, London Road, concerning the death of Alfred Sutton, a compositor, which occurred at the age of 64 years. Mr C J Asher was appointed foreman of the jury.

Evidence of identification was given by the nephew, William Alfred George Sutton, a plumber, of 22, St Mark’s Road, who said his uncle was a widower, and lodged in Brown Street, but for about a fortnight had been staying at No 6, Park Street, with his invalid daughter. When he saw him on the previous Tuesday night he appeared in his usual health. The next day he was sent for between 7.30 and 8 o’clock in the evening, and when he reached Park Street he found his uncle was dead.

Private Sam Mogilinsky, attached to the Royal Flying Corps at Old Sarum, said he was billeted at 6, Park Street with Miss Wingrove. On Wednesday evening Mr Sutton came in, and after remarking that it was bitterly cold, sat down in an arm chair near the fire, and took off his boots. Witness went out of the room, and two minutes later he heard a thud as if somebody had fallen on the floor. Miss Sutton shouted for help. Witness ran back into the room and picked him up. He was bleeding from the nose and mouth. A doctor was sent for.

Mr L D Saunders, medical practitioner, said Mr Sutton was dead when he arrived. It was evident that he had bled a good deal from the nose. Judging from appearances and from what he was told he came to the conclusion that he probably had an attack and fell, fracturing the base of the skull. He thought that the effect of his coming into a hot room from the cold, and then getting up from the chair, might have caused giddiness, followed by the fall.

The Coroner : Why didn’t you report this death to the police?

Mr Saunders said there was a question whether Mr Ellis, who had attended him, could not give a certificate.

The Coroner : That question being settled, why was it then not brought to the notice of the Police or the Coroner’s officer?

Mr Saunders : I thought it was.

The Coroner : By you?

Mr Saunders : No, by Mr Sutton.

The Coroner : Is not it the general practise of medical practitioners in the town, in cases where they have been called in to a sudden death, to notify either the Coroner or the Police?

Mr Saunders : I don’t think so, I never have.

The Coroner : Well, if I may be allowed to say so, I think you should start from now and do so. I have not heard of any case where a medical practitioner, who has been called in to a case of sudden death, has not notified myself or the Police. In this case the inquest has been delayed one day, simply because no notification was sent. It was quite by chance that the Police happened to know a dead body was there.

Mr Saunders : If it had been a case of heart trouble, what would have had to be done?

The Coroner : I am not here to answer questions, but to ask you in the future, when you are called in to cases of sudden death, to notify the Police.

The jury returned a verdict of death from fracture of the base of the skull, caused by accidental fall.

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