Home   Maidstone   News   Article

Tragedy of disabled Larkfield man who died after fall down steps in wheelchair at Grange Moor Hotel in Maidstone

A wheelchair-bound man died after taking the wrong exit when leaving a Maidstone hotel and hurtling down a flight of concrete steps.

David Henley, from Larkfield, had reportedly drunk 10 pints of beer at a social function with work colleagues, an inquest heard.

The 43-year-old, of Cronin Close, landed face down on the grounds of the Grange Moor Hotel as shocked guests ran to assist and tend his bleeding wounds.

The Grange Moor Hotel in Maidstone
The Grange Moor Hotel in Maidstone

Sgt Paul Raines told an inquest at the Archbishops Palace in Maidstone that on the night of the tragedy he saw no "appropriate signage" on the door.

"I believe they were added after the incident," he told the coroner yesterday.

"Nobody could have prevented it – it was an accident and he died after a happy evening surrounded by good friends..." - David Henley's mother Christine

Mr Henley, who was born with spina bifida, had gone to meet a waiting taxi.

He was rushed to the Tunbridge Wells Hospital at Pembury, where he died in the early hours of February 25 last year.

Medical examination showed the cause of death was vomiting and bleeding, which had entered his lungs and airways.

Mr Henley, an admin transport officer at Kent County Council, was found to have 226mg of alcohol in his blood per 100ml - nearly three times the legal drink-drive limit.

Further evidence read out by coroner Alison Grief revealed the St Michael's Road hotel had previously been given a clean bill of health by safety inspectors.

Bosses had noted that more signage to an exit ramp would be useful but, in their opinion, it did not constitute a safety issue.

The inquest was at Archbishop's Palace in Maidstone
The inquest was at Archbishop's Palace in Maidstone

Returning a verdict of accidental death, Ms Grief said it had to be noted that Mr Henley was familiar with the hotel, having attended previous functions there, and would have known where the ramp was located.

"I am satisfied that his death was the result of tragic circumstances following an enjoyable evening he had," she said.

Speaking after the inquest, Mr Henley's mother Christine said: "For us the matter is closed.

"Nobody could have prevented it – it was an accident and he died after a happy evening surrounded by good friends."

Stories you might have missed

Weather summit ahead of worst storm in decades

Sir Paul McCartney spends £100 at veggie cafe

Plans revealed to close Kent women's prison

Young woman burnt in town centre salon fire

Close This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.Learn More