AN elderly Skipton woman who was able to live independently, died after falling down her stairs at home.

Thelma Mellor, 83, had lived at Pasture Close for the past four years since the death of her husband.

She had been assessed as being able to live independently and had reasonable mobility, an inquest at Skipton Magistrates’ Court heard.

She was able to access upstairs rooms and was able to get out to the hairdressers, GPs and do some shopping. A bedroom downstairs had been created for her but she preferred to sleep upstairs, the hearing was told.

On the day of her death, on August 27 last year, Mrs Mellor, who had been suffering from a chest infection, had been found at the base of her stairs by her cleaner Linda Pratt.

Mrs Mellor was laying on her side and was unresponsive.

On finding Mrs Mellor Mrs Pratt contacted one of Mrs Mellor’s daughters who had been on her way to her mother’s but had been called away to a neighbour who had suffered a stroke.

Paramedics were called and Mrs Mellor was confirmed dead at 9am.

A post-mortem examination showed she had died as a result of a spinal fracture due to a blunt force trauma.

Police attended and confirmed there were no suspicious circumstances.

Senior coroner for North Yorkshire, Rob Turnbull, recorded a verdict of accidental death, resulting from a fall.