Lowestoft hit-and-run: Victim died of brain bleed

A petrol station on Jubilee Way, Lowestoft Image copyright JThomas/Geograph
Image caption Brian Mitchell was found injured near to the petrol station in Jubilee Way, Lowestoft

An elderly hit-and-run victim suffered a series of falls in hospital and died of an "extensive" bleed on the brain, an inquest heard.

Brian Mitchell, who was 86 and had dementia, was found in the road in Lowestoft, Suffolk, with fractures and cuts in November 2017.

Norwich Coroner's Court heard he fell up to four times at at two different hospitals and died on 23 December.

Coroner Jacqueline Lake said it was not clear when the fatal injury happened.

The retired builder, of Bourne Road, was crossing from the High Street at 00:40 GMT on 15 November when he was "hit by a motorist who callously drove off," said Ms Lake.

He was taken to the James Paget Hospital in Gorleston where a CT scan showed no cranial abnormalities.

Later that night, he was transferred to the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital, and helped back to bed after being found on the floor, the inquest heard.

Ms Lake said overnight on 16 and 17 November he had one or possibly two falls and may have hit his head.

Image copyright Suffolk Police
Image caption Graham Brooks drove off after his vehicle struck Brian Mitchell near a BP garage in Lowestoft

A scan the following day did not show any bleeding on the brain but did show a chronic build-up of spinal fluid consistent with Mr Mitchell's age and previous brain surgery.

He was transferred to the James Paget Hospital, and had another suspected fall on 22 November.

Three weeks later a CT scan was carried out after he appeared drowsy and confused which showed an extensive bleed on the brain.

Surgery was not deemed possible, and instead he was made comfortable.

A post-mortem examination found Mr Mitchell had previously suffered a bleed on the brain up to several months ago, and that the fatal bleed had been a re-bleed.

In a narrative conclusion, Ms Lake said the evidence did not indicate when he suffered his fatal injury.

Graham Brooks, 60, of Max Carter Close, Worstead, Norfolk, was jailed for 15 months at Norwich Crown Court on 28 September after admitting perverting the course of justice, failing to report and failing to stop after a collision in relation to the hit-and-run.

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