AN ELDERLY woman who had been housebound for years died from a fall, Winchester Coroner's Court heard.

Mary Postans, 96, had been living independently at her home in Wavell Way since her husband died 20 years ago.

On January 18, at around 9am, she was found dead by her carer Michelle with seven fractured ribs.

Her daughter, Evelyn Hayter, told the inquest: "She couldn't move without help. Her legs were giving up and it took her so long to get ready.

"But she was a stubborn woman, and has always been very independent.

"I would visit her every day to help her out – she wanted to live on her own, and I accepted what I had to do to make that possible."

Dr Adnan Al-Badri told the courtroom how it was likely Mrs Postans struggled to breath after fracturing her ribs.

He said: "After a fall causing that damage, it is highly likely Mary's lungs could not expand properly because of the pain it was causing her."

Acting area coroner Samantha Marsh concluded the death to be accidental.

She said: "It appears that Mary, if not for a better term, had to admit defeat.

"Mary reached a ripe old age, and I think that it's a remarkable achievement to had still been living alone. "She must have seen a lot in her lifetime."