Inquest into Halifax couple

Olive Stockdale and Paula Owens who were found dead at their home in Fenton Road, King Cross, Halifax.
Olive Stockdale and Paula Owens who were found dead at their home in Fenton Road, King Cross, Halifax.
0
Have your say

An inquest into the death of a Halifax couple has recorded an open verdict on Olive Stockdale and concluded her partner Paula Owens died of hypothermia.

The bodies of the couple were found at their home on Fenton Road, King Cross on April 18 last year.

The inquest was told that Ms Stockdale was found crumpled at the foot of the stairs, while Ms Owens was found collapsed facing her partner in the lounge.

Coroner Oliver Longstaff concluded that Ms Owens showed signs of lung disease and terminal hypothermia.

He told the inquest: “It is most probable that Paula Owens had collapsed and died after a period of hypothermia.

“There is a background cause of lung disease but this is not directly linked to her death.”

Ms Stockdale had suffered bruising to her scalp and chin and a fracture to her spine.

Mr Longstaff concluded Ms Stockdale died as a result of a fracture to her neck after falling down the stairs.

He told the inquest: “Given the fact that these ladies lived together for 25 years there is no evidence of any issue between them.

“It is unthinkable that Paula Owens would have left her partner at the bottom of the stairs with a broken neck if she was capable of doing anything about it.

“i am satisfied that Paula Owens was if not dead then incapable of helping her at the time Olive Stockdale fell down the stairs.

“It is very unusual to die of hypothermia in a domestic setting.

“It may be that Paula Owens suffered a heart attack or some sort of stroke, for which there is no evidence, which rendered her incapable.

“I am satisfied on the balance of probabilities that Paula Owens was dead before Olive Stockdale fell down the stairs.”