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Thursday, 30 October 2014

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South Cumbria army veteran was let down in his battle with alcohol - widow

A FORMER Cumbria soldier who had suffered from post-traumatic stress died after falling and hitting his head on concrete slabs outside his flat, an inquest has ruled.

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HONOURED Shaun Bradley, who was appointed MBE, in a picture from his funeral order of service cardsubmitted

Shaun Bradley, 52, died on November 8 at the Royal Preston Hospital, following a fall in Victoria Court, Ulverston.

An inquest at Barrow Town Hall heard that Mr Bradley, who served in the army for 22 years and was appointed MBE for long service and service in the Falklands and Bosnia, was found unconscious by an elderly resident on October 26.

He was admitted to Furness General Hospital at 8.30am before being taken to Preston, where he later died.

A post mortem conducted by pathologist, Professor Jim Morris, found there was bleeding within Mr Bradley’s skull.

The court heard that Mr Bradley had developed a drink problem and would often have fits when he tried to detox.

Ian Smith, coroner for South Cumbria, said that the war veteran may have suffered a fit in his flat before going outside for a cigarette and falling again.

He said: “The evidence does show something happened in the flat to start all this going.

“The most likely explanation is that Mr Bradley had a fit of some kind and fell over and damaged some of the furniture in the flat, but much more significantly he damaged himself.

“A bleed in the brain often takes a while to set in. Often people can move around after it has started.

“Without a doubt, he collapsed outside the block of flats and probably did more damage. It’s perfectly possible he fell twice.”

The post mortem examination revealed that Mr Bradley had three levels of bleeding on his brain at different depths.

He also swallowed a small stone from the gravel where he fell, causing an infection to his lung.

Mr Smith recorded a verdict of accidental death.

Mr Bradley’s widow, Elaine, told the court: “Something happened in that flat – the TV was knocked over and the table was knocked over.

“I think he had a stroke or a fit before he went outside.

“He didn’t have fits on a regular basis, but he had had a few before and always a day or two into a detox. He was told not to have days off alcohol but he just tried to have the odd day off to prove to himself that he could do it.”

Speaking after the verdict, Mrs Bradley was critical of the support her husband had received for his issues with post-traumatic stress and alcohol.

She said: “Shaun had been battling alcoholism for a few years. It’s a case of an army man not having any support.

“They say (the help is) here but when you start you are waiting, waiting, waiting.”

Have your say

Shaun was my best friend. Every day without him hurts. RIP my friend.

Posted by Wayne Danks on 17 February 2014 at 18:53

Is there any one else out there going through what we have been through? Do you know that any access to drug and alcohol help in this area has to come via "Unity" who are part of Greater Manchester West Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust? !!!!

Posted by Elaine Bradley on 16 February 2014 at 20:47

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