Death caused by poor balance

A man who refused to see a doctor for balance problems died of septicaemia after he stumbled and struck his head on a mantelpiece.

Nicholas (Nicoli) Manson, from Soldier’s Cottage, Rush Rd, Skerries, Co Dublin was found dead at his home on January 6 ,2015.

The man was living alone, Dublin Coroner’s Court heard. He died of septicaemia with hypothermia as a contributory factor after a wound on his head became infected as he lay comatose on his kitchen floor.

Mr Manson, a farm worker for most of his life, had no direct family. A friend, William Rogan from Lusk, brought his shopping and visited regularly to check on him. He last saw him on Friday, January 2, around 5pm.

“He was in good form that day, full of chat,” Mr Rogan said. He told coroner Myra Cullinane that Mr Manson was unsteady on his legs.

“Many times I asked him to go to the doctor but he would not,” he said. “He was quite a headstrong man, he did his own thing.”

The court heard Mr Rogan called Mr Manson numerous times over the weekend but got no answer. He said this was not unusual. Mr Rogan called to the cottage on January 6 to find his friend lying on the kitchen floor. He called a neighbour who performed chest compressions but Mr Manson was pronounced dead at the scene.

Garda Mark Ferguson said the man had an obvious head injury and there was blood on the floor and two internal doors and in the bedroom. The back door had a hole in it and looked as though it had been kicked.

The house was in a dishevelled state but did not look like it had been ‘turned over’ by burglars, the garda said. The scene was preserved and a post mortem was carried out by deputy State Pathologist Michael Curtis. Dr Curtis found that a laceration to Mr Manson’s head become infected in the hours after it was sustained.

Sergeant Louise Mulligan said Mr Manson may have struck his head on the mantel piece in his bedroom. She said the blood stains in the house were consistent with his moving unsteadily from one room to the other.

Dr Cullinane returned a verdict of death by misadventure.


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