A RETIRED university lecturer died after falling off a ladder whilst carrying out repairs to his house, an inquest has heard.

The hearing at County Hall in Dorchester was told that Michael Edward Cosgrove, of Lower Bockhampton, had been sanding down the windows of his cottage on July 24 this year when the ladder slipped.

A group of walkers who were passing rushed to his aid, and Dr Cosgrove, 82, was taken to Dorset County Hospital where he was found to have ‘unsurvivable injuries’. He died later the same day.

In a statement, his wife Patricia said they had both spent the day working around the house. She said: “Due to the slope of the road he made a set of wooden wedges to be placed under the legs of the ladder to ensure it was vertical.

“I was in the kitchen making bread when I heard the sound of the ladder scraping down the wall of the cottage. He did not cry out or shout.”

Coroner for West Dorset Michael Johnston recorded that Dr Cosgrove died as the result of an accident. He said: “The cause of death was intracranial haemorrhage due to a skull fracture.”