A RETIRED confectioner died when he lost his footing and fell down the stairs of his home, an inquest heard.

Grandfather James Johnston, known as Keith, was found in the hallway of his home in Burley Road, Harestock, on February 21 last year.

Emergency services were called but the 83-year-old was pronounced dead by paramedics at the scene.

An inquest into his death at Winchester Coroner's Court heard that Mr Johnston’s mobility had been declining in recent months which forced his family to install a stairlift.

His son Wayne said: “He had fallen a few times, that is where he didn’t used to pick his feet up, watch where he was going.”

Police were called to scene to determine whether anything suspicious had taken place, but it was determined that Mr Johnston may have gotten out of bed in the middle of the night and lost his footing.

PC Phillip Holderness-Corp said that one of Mr Johnston’s slippers was at the top of the stairs and the other was on his foot.

After a search of the home PC Holderness-Corp said it “looked like he [Mr Johnston] hadn’t taken his meds for the last two days.”

A post mortem determined that Mr Johnston died due to a subdural haemorrhage – a bleed on the brain – caused by the fall.

Area coroner Jason Pegg said that the retired lorry driver had “some mobility problems” and concluded that his death was accidental.

In tribute his son Wayne said: “As a dad of three young boys he bought us up with my mum. Both parents put us first, always food on the table, clothes on our back, didn’t want for anything.

“He was generous to a fault.”

The inquest was told that Mr Johnston was originally from Yorkshire but during National Service he was posted to the Peninsula Barracks in Winchester and remained in the area after duty having met his wife Angela.

Wayne said around five years ago the family mourned the loss of their mother Angela which was something that his father “never got over”.

“It took the wind right out of him, took it out of all of us really. He just went downhill. They were never apart, apart from either going into hospital.”