A 65-YEAR-OLD man fell head first from a fire escape behind a Dursley hotel while picking up his mobile phone after dropping it, an inquest.

Peter Cooper suffered  “devastating head injuries” when he plunged onto the ground behind The Old Bell Hotel, Long Street, Dursley on November 9 last year, an inquest at Gloucestershire Coroner’s Court was told.

Mr Cooper, of First Avenue, Dursley, was taken to the intensive care unit at Southmead Hospital, Bristol where he was found to have skull fractures, severe brain injuries and rib fractures, explained assistant coroner for Gloucestershire Caroline Saunders.

“There is CCTV footage which captures his fall from the fire escape at the second floor where he had a room,” said Ms Saunders.

“Police have concluded that he went out onto the fire escape and must have dropped his phone. He was presumably trying to retrieve it when he lost his footing on the slippery steps – it was raining at the time – and fell headfirst onto the courtyard."

Mr Cooper’s mobile phone was later found in the guttering.

“His injuries were so severe that further treatment was stopped and he died three days later on November 12,” said Ms Saunders.

The Gazette reported on the incident in November last year and police described it as a 'tragic accident'.