Tuesday, 31 Mar 2020

'My fat belly saved my life when I fell down Wetherspoon's steps'

An overweight grandfather says that his large belly saved his life when he fell down the same flight of 15 steps at a pub where a customer died last Sunday.

Colin Hayes, 61, believes his stomach cushioned his fall as he tumbled down the staircase to the gents’ toilets at Wetherspoon’s in Bournemouth last August. He suffered three bleeds on the brain, but is convinced that he would have died if he had not weighed 19 stones at the time.

He is the third person to suffer a fall at the Christopher Creeke pub in the last eight months. One man suffered serious head injuries in a fall last June, while another man in his 40s went into cardiac arrest after falling at the pub last Sunday. He later died in hospital.

Colin said: ‘I don’t remember anything about the fall, but after I came round in hospital the doctors told me that had I been slimmer I would probably be dead. It was my stomach that got in the way and stopped me falling straight on my head. It must have taken the brunt of the impact.

‘I think without my big belly it could have been much worse as I would have hit the ground at full pelt. I think that, because I am a bit bigger, my weight probably saved my life.’

Colin spend four days in hospital after the fall is now almost housebound as he suffers from post-concussion syndrome.

He said that he once weighed over 30 stone and has long struggled to control his weight.

A spokesman for JD Wetherspoon said they have checked the stairs since the latest incident with council health and safety officers and no defects had been found.

Spokesman Eddie Gershon said: ‘A company representative has met with environmental health officers from Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Council.

‘This was in order to review the stairs which lead down to the gents’ toilets at the pub.

‘They stated that in their opinion no offences had been committed, and therefore no enforcement action was required as there was no risk to the public.

‘This means that no defects were found on the stairs, with the hand rail or in the level of light.’

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