Kew Gardens death 'accidental'

Erena Wilson was killed in Kew Gardens by a falling branch in September 2012 Credit: Jonathan Brady/PA Archive

A woman who was killed by a large falling branch at Kew Gardens during a friend's three-year-old's birthday party died accidentally, a jury has found.

31 year old Erena Wilson from Hanwell, was strolling through the Royal Botanical Gardens in September 2012 when the tragedy occurred.

She died from severe multiple injuries.

It had been raining heavily in the hours leading up to the accident and tree branches are vulnerable to dropping off suddenly when they endure long dry spells followed by heavy rain.

John McLinden QC, representing Ms Wilson's family, told West London Coroner's Court said Kew Gardens failed to put up signs warning of the danger because it deemed the risk so minimal, and questioned why it had not fenced trees off.

But Patrick Blakesley, a lawyer representing Kew, said the death was a "terrible freak accident".

After just 45 minutes of deliberation, the jury returned a verdict of accidental death.

The foreman told the court the jury found "insufficient evidence to establish the cause of the branch failure".