Eastbourne woman found dead at bottom of stairs

An Eastbourne woman died of an accidental head injury, an inquest heard.

Friday, 2nd July 2021, 10:17 am
Updated Monday, 5th July 2021, 11:10 am

Denyse Elizabeth Harvey, 62, was found at the bottom of a set of stairs in her home on September 4, 2020.

Mrs Harvey was discovered injured by her mother, Patricia Parris, in her Weatherby Close home.

The inquest into the circumstances of her death was told Mrs Harvey had a blood alcohol level the equivalent of twice the legal limit for driving.

Eastbourne Town Hall SUS-210216-141547001

The inquest, held at Eastbourne Town Hall on July 1, heard how Mrs Harvey had struggled with alcoholism which had put a strain on her family relations.

GP Dr Laure Berthelot-Caberet said Mrs Harvey had ‘recurrent’ falls and ‘regularly attended A&E’.

The coroner also heard that Mrs Harvey had fallen down the stairs before.

Mrs Harvey’s husband, sister-in-law, and two children were at the inquest.

Terrence Harvey said he had found his wife, who he was living apart from, in the stairwell snoring.

Mr Harvey, who was married to Mrs Harvey for more than 20 years, also said he saw his wife breathing.

Mrs Harvey’s mother recalled how she later found her daughter at the bottom of the stairs when Mr Harvey was out with their dog.

Emergency services were called and Mrs Harvey was confirmed dead by paramedics.

East Sussex coroner Alan Craze said Mrs Harvey’s medical cause of death was a head injury with medical reports suggesting the Eastbourne woman had suffered from blunt force trauma.

Mr Craze said, “The verdict is going to be accidental.

“You know when someone is in danger but it is still a massive shock.”