Popular Lewes man was ‘unlikely’ to have suffered before his death

Eastbourne Law Courts (Pic by Jon Rigby) SUS-150722-161749008
Eastbourne Law Courts (Pic by Jon Rigby) SUS-150722-161749008

A popular Lewes man who is thought to have died at home after a fall is ‘unlikely’ to have suffered any pain, an inquest has heard.

Retired carer John Henney, 62, was found dead at his flat in Barons Down Road on January 21 after friends raised concerns for his welfare when he failed to turn up to a friend’s birthday party a few weeks earlier.

A well-known Lewes figure, he enjoyed an active social life and regularly hosted parties for his wide circle of friends.

In a statement read at the inquest, Mr Henney’s daughter Christie Sherry said: “He loved to cook for people and had a passion for culture, European history and animals.

“He was always a proud European and could speak four languages fluently and liked to converse in German and Dutch.”

Mrs Sherry also said he was sometimes in pain and had some mobility issues after undergoing a hip replacement surgery and suffering a stroke some years ago.

Despite his health issues, Mr Henney was a keen walker and would visit his friends whenever possible.

His former partner Linda Williamson said: “He has a great fondness for walking and would walk for miles. He tried to walk into town each day, which is about two miles.

“He was a very determined man and didn’t like to give up on things.”

A post-mortem examination found Mr Henney had died from a head injury which he may have suffered during a fall, although it is unclear exactly when and where he had fallen.

Paramedics had visited him on January 17 after other residents reported finding him unconscious in the corridor of his apartment building.

He was conscious when the crews arrived, was checked over by ambulance crews and showed no signs of significant injury.

Assistant coroner Christoper Wilkinson said it was unclear when he suffered the fatal injury.

Mr Wilkinson said: “In my experience it’s very unlikely that he would have suffered at all.

“It appears this was a tragic and sudden accident that could not have been foreseen.”

The coroner recorded a verdict of accidental death.

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