An inquest into the death of a pensioner, who was dragged half a mile through a city centre under the wheels of a bus, was today unexpectedly adjourned after a coroner invoked legislation allowing representations to be made to the Director of Public Prosecutions.

The inquest into the death of 86-year-old Jenny Spedding had previously been opened and adjourned and today's hearing was listed as a full inquest.

Mrs Spedding died from multiple injuries following the incident in February this year in Durham City.

As part of today's evidence, at County Hall, in Durham, still pictures taken from CCTV cameras which captured the tragedy were shown to solicitors representing the driver and Mrs Spedding's family.

North Durham coroner Andrew Tweddle told the court he had the power to adjourn the inquest under Rule 28 of the Coroner's Rules if there was evidence before him that an offence might have been committed.

He explained that the particular legislation covered murder, manslaughter, infanticide and Section 1 of the Road Traffic Act. Mr Tweddle told parties at the inquest: ''I now adjourn the inquest for at least 14 days for representations to be made to the Director of Public Prosecutions.''

A spokesman for Durham Police said that a file had previously been prepared but that any legal action was the subject of further consideration.

The inquest heard that Mrs Spedding, of Local Avenue, Sherburn Hill, Durham City, died from multiple injuries and extensive internal haemorrhaging after being dragged along by the single-decker Arriva bus.