A FRAIL pensioner died from multiple injuries after falling down the stairs at her home, an inquest heard.

An inquest into the death of Enid Swinbank, 81, of East Block, Witton Gilbert, heard that despite being registered blind, having heart problems and suffering from amnesia, Mrs Swinbank was determined to stay in her home.

On December 17, after the alarm was raised by City Care, a police officer broke into the property and found her behind the front door, having apparently fallen down the stairs.

She was taken to the University Hospital of North Durham, where a post mortem was carried out. Consultant pathologist Dr John Zuk said she had sustained extensive bruising, a dislocated shoulder, a fractured spine and fractured ribs, and suffered internal bleeding.

Recording a verdict of accidental death, at County Hall, Durham, today north Durham coroner Andrew Tweddle said: "It was a simple though tragic accident."

Updated : 17:20, 20/12/01