1. ITV Report

Verdict due at 'tea death' inquest

Beechcroft Manor Nursing Home Photo: ITV Meridian

A coroner is to record her verdict in the inquest of a 73-year-old woman who died after she was scalded by a spilled cup of tea.

Margaret Young, a retired nurse, was a resident at the Beechcroft Manor Nursing Home in Gosport, Hampshire, when the cup of tea brought by staff aid Bestman Owhondah was accidentally spilled on to her while she was lying in bed on June 13 last year.

The inquest at Portsmouth heard that her husband, Peter Young, 83, was informed by Mr Owhondah of the accident and had seen that the wound had been dressed by nurses.

The hearing was told that Mrs Young was in the final stages of life and had originally been admitted to the nursing home in June 2011 after suffering a fall.

But when the couple's daughter, Janet Young, visited on June 17 she discovered that the wound was in a "horrendous" state and after a doctor examined her mother, she was taken to the Queen Alexandra Hospital in Portsmouth where she died on June 20.

Ms Young said: "I want to know what happened, why she had to go like that, it's a good home that's why we picked it, I just want to know why."

Mr Young, a retired engineer, said: "I do not think it was done on purpose, it was an accident, what happened afterwards is what I criticise."

Lincoln Brookes, representing Beechcroft Manor, told the inquest that Mrs Young had been given the appropriate treatment.

Detective Inspector Scott MacKechnie, of Hampshire police, who investigated the death, told the inquest: "It wasn't a criminal matter, I didn't consider the death to be suspicious.

"I did have concerns that the staff on duty did not report that the tea was spilt. It did appear to be an accident and when the reddening was noticed a GP was immediately summoned."

He added: "I was happy that doctors had been called at the right time, whether the treatment was appropriate is not for me to say."

Karen Harrold, assistant deputy coroner for Portsmouth and south east Hampshire, is to record her verdict following the inquest which heard four days of evidence last week.