A pensioner with motor neurone disease was killed by a pub sign which hit him in windy weather.
Keith Holmes, 73, died of a bleed on the brain after a Wetherspoons pub advertising board was thrust off the ground by wind and struck him.
He had been on his way to meet his wife when he walked past The Myrtle Grove Wetherspoon in Bingley, West Yorks., on November 19, 2016.
Eye-witness Danielle Greaves sobbed as she consoled members of Mr Holmes’s family after giving evidence at the hearing.
Mrs Greaves, who works as a teacher, told the inquest: ‘As I opened my car door, the wind pulled it outwards and, as I looked to my left, one of the A-board lifted up and hit Mr Holmes in the chest.
‘He fell to the floor and hit his head on the concrete pavement – there was blood coming from his head and that’s when I knew it was serious.
‘It was a very windy day. The impact was quite big as it struck him, it was a big impact from the boards – they were heavy.’
While Wetherspoon’s cleaner Brian Adams told the inquest he had put out the A-boards on the day of the incident ‘like every day in the two years I worked there’ at around 7.40am.
The cleaner described the weather at the time as ‘damp, but not windy’.
However, in written evidence read out in court, Tom Ward, the on-duty opening manager at the time of the incident, admitted not reading an email sent out to all Wetherspoons pubs to take in A-boards due to harsh winds two days before the incident.
Mr Ward later filled out an injury log on how they could best avoid incidents like Mr Holmes’s in the future, and wrote: ‘I have thought about how hooks and chains to the A-boards may have added additional security’.
Giving evidence at the inquest, the pub’s main boss Angela Slater said when she arrived at the pub at 8.15am that ‘it was rainy – but not windy’.
Ms Slater said she herself had read the email, but thought ‘the weather wasn’t that bad’, she told the jury.
The inquest heard Keith had motor neurone disease and had limited use of his arms so he couldn’t prevent himself from falling over.
Keith had gone to meet his wife Sheila Holmes in the town of Bingley, West Yorks., when he didn’t arrive after two hours she called the police to report a missing person.
The police located Mr Holmes – who by this time had arrived at Bradford Royal Infirmary – where he sadly later died.
The jury inquest, due to last five days, continues.
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