Death of dementia sufferer who choked on ginger cake was accidental, inquest rules
THE death of a dementia sufferer who choked on some ginger cake after being found in an out-of-bounds cellar was accidental, a jury at an inquest ruled.
Virginia Briscoe, aged 66, was discovered dead at the Abafields Residential Home in Bromwich Street, Bolton, at about 5am on February 5.
An inquest into her death ruled she accessed a restricted cellar area through an insecure door, leading to an unlocked store room.
She deliberately ate food which caused her to choke.
Both the door down to the cellar — secured by an electronic keypad — and the store room door should have been secured under the home’s rules.
Mrs Briscoe’s family said the verdict had answered some of their questions but not all.
After the inquest her son-in-law Gino Marone said: “We will be looking to take this matter further.”
Bolton Coroner’s Court heard Mrs Briscoe could not have known the code to the door to the cellar, meaning it must have been left open. The court heard from DC John Marsh that there was a fault on the door, meaning that it would not shut of its own accord if allowed to fall into the frame.
Karen Lawson, one of the staff, insisted she shut the door when she left the cellar at about 4.10am to take a break.
The other two staff on duty, Shabnam Agarbattiwaza and Lisa Fowler, said they did not enter the cellar until Mrs Briscoe’s body was found.
Mrs Briscoe’s daughters Donna Marone and Alison Humphries paid tribute to their late mother.
“Mum was a kind, warm-hearted person who cared for her whole family, including two daughters, a son and eight grandchildren,” said Mrs Marone.
“She worked tirelessly for charity and approached life with plenty of energy.”
Mrs Humphries added: “She was a delight to be around and lived in the Bolton area her whole life.
“Even when she had bad dementia she still enjoyed herself and did not get too down.”
Mr Marone added: “She could have lived for years to come, albeit with the dementia, which makes this even harder to take.”
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