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University lecturer died after fall in his Halesowen home
11:37am Friday 31st August 2012 in News
A 49-YEAR-old university lecturer who was found dead at his Halesowen home, died from a fall after drinking, an inquest has heard.
Nicholas John Holden, was discovered dead on his bedroom floor at his Cobham Road home on January 3, after his parents raised the alarm.
It is not known when Mr Holden, a doctor of engineering, actually died after friends last spoke to him on December 28 2011, as they arranged a New Year trip to Cornwall.
The inquest heard how his friends left without Mr Holden when they failed to contact him, but realised something was wrong on their return when they noticed his room lights were still on and the curtains were in the same position as they were a few days earlier.
Dudley hospital pathologist, Dr Batitang, told Dudley Coroner’s Court a post mortem had revealed a trauma injury to his skull and a brain haemorrhage which suggested a blunt force injury to the head, probably as a result of a fall.
The court also heard how samples revealed a high level of alcohol in his blood stream and his liver showed evidence singleton Mr Holden was a drinker.
Mr Holden’s brother-in-law, Paul Phillips, who last saw Nicholas on Boxing Day at a family function at his parent’s house in Dudley, described him as “incredibly intelligent” and “incredibly well-travelled” who had “no interest in material possessions or any interest in clothes”.
However Mr Phillips also told the inquest how the family were left “shocked” by the state of Mr Holden’s home, which was “really quite nasty and in such a state we realised we would need professional help”.
Black Country Coroner, Robin Balmain, said: “This is very sad. It seems Mr Holden seemed to enjoy a drink. There is no evidence he was an alcoholic, but he had had quite a lot to drink at the time leading up to his death.
"It seems likely to me having had a drink he fell over and hurt his head. But he clearly didn’t succumb immediately.
"I can’t say whether he tripped and fell or that the alcohol didn’t play a part in it. Either way he suffered an accident. “
A verdict of accidental death was recorded.