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DEATH FROM A FALL

THE LATE MR. W. D. POYVDRELL, M.P. ■EVIDENCE AT THE INQUEST. The death of Mr. Walter Dutton Powdrell, M.P., at the Bowen'-street Hospital on Wednesday night, following a fall from a: bank in the morning, was inquired into by Mr. F. K. Hunt, Coroner, at the Magistrate'e Court, to-day. Sonior-Sergfsantr M'Namara represented the poliVe. Harryi Archey Potvine, a relativ« of the deoeased. made a statement that deceased was a farmer living at Hawera, and, was 49 years of age. He had very large interests, both publicly and privately in the district, and was a member of Parliament. In consequence of overwork and worry towards the end of January, he had a nervous breakdown.

Dr. David K. Fenwick stated that deceased was .under his charge at the Bowen-streat Hospital from the 3tii to 27th February last. Deceased was suffering from neurasthenia.' He required constant supervision owing to the state of his nerves. When witness saw ■ deceased on the 9thinst.,he was paralysed in both ■ arms and both legs. ' Witness wVis quite satisfied that deceased's condition was due to an injury to the spinal cord in the'neck. He did not think deceased woold recover. Witness saw bin twice in the afternoon in consultation with other doctors. Deceased died at 9 o'clock that night, cause of death being injury to the spinal cord. The injury might have been caused by a fall from a height, suoh as the bank at the- back of the hospital. On examining deceased, witness found that there was a • large bruise and considerable swelling on the top of the head. Deceased was suffering from neurasthenia, brought on by worry and insoriinia, but he, was not a mental case. The object in advising that he be kept under conetant supervision was not so much that witness feared that 'deceased might injure himself as to know how he slept and his daily condition, as weD as to stop him from brooding over his business worries. When witness saw hira on the 9th he was quite conscious Mid perfectly rational. Witness asked, deceased if he knew what had happened, and the reply was that he had no recollection at all. He probably did not remember because he had suffered a certain amount of concussion.

Dr. William Edward Herbert, medical oractitioner, gave corroborative evidence regarding the deceased's condition on Wednesday evening. Within, three yards of the. room deceased was in there was a bank about eight or nine feet high, and on the top of this there was a garden approached by steps. Deceased, with his nurse, was in the habit of walking in the garden. The gartjen was separated from the edge of the bank by trees.' To get to the top of the bank it was necessary to go off from the steps half-way up, and climb along the face of the bank. At the bottom of the bank there was an asphalt path. Minnie Paxiline Kiernan, head sister at the Bow en-street Hospital, sta-fed that sh© had seen the deceased at 7.5 a.m. on the 9th instant, and found him to be in a --restless state, walking about the room. Deceased said to witness that he had not had a very good night. From the time that he entered the hospital ha v,-as under constant supervision, day and night. Witness told the nurse in charge not to leave the patient to go to breakfast. About ten minutes after this witness was called, and found deceased lying at the bpttom of the bank at the Tear of the hospital. Deceased was suffering from injuries' to both hands. Dr." Hardwick Smith was summoned 1, and deceased was carried to his room. Deceased was sometimes restless, but was always quite rational, although very depressed. -

Lena 0. Hall, a nurse at the Boweristreet Hospital, stated that she had been in attendance on the patient, and related that when deceased left the room, on- the morning of the 9th, she followed him. After deceased slammed, the door, witness heard a fall. She ran outside, and found deceased lying on the footpath near the side of.tlvo building. He was unconscious, auil bleeding from the hands. During the time that witness was in attendance on him. shecould see plainly that he wa« suffering from some mental worry. ' / The Coroner returned a verdict that death was due to injuries of the spinal cord, caused by a s faU from a /bank afc the back of tlie hospital. Whether dea.th was accident pr design, th.gr.o was «o evidence,

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Permanent link to this item

https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/EP19210311.2.65

Bibliographic details

DEATH FROM A FALL, Evening Post, Volume CI, Issue 60, 11 March 1921

Word Count
753

DEATH FROM A FALL Evening Post, Volume CI, Issue 60, 11 March 1921

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