A HOMEOWNER was killed in a freak accident when a metal post propping up a hammock in his back garden collapsed on him, an inquest has heard.

Richard Grassby, 58, was lying in the suspended bed when one of the two supporting pillars gave way.

The heavy column fell around 4ft and landed hard on stonemason Mr Grassby, causing him fatal injuries to his head, neck and chest.

The emergency services were called and he was rushed to Poole General Hospital. He died later that evening.

A post mortem examination revealed Mr Grassby, who owned Dorset Stone Memorials, suffered internal bleeding and brain injuries.

The incident took place in August last year.

The inquest in Bournemouth could not be attended by any witnesses or family members due to fears over coronavirus.

However, coroner Brendan Allen did read statements from those who treated Mr Grassby on the day.

Owen Hammett, a specialist practitioner with South Western Ambulance Service was among those to attend the scene.

In a statement read to the hearing, Mr Hammett said: "The incident details were given as a 55-year-old male who was lying on a hammock when a pillar collapsed and he sustained a head, neck and chest injury.

"Upon my arrival there was already an ambulance at the scene. I went to the rear of the property to the garden where the patient was."

He said Mr Grassby was initially conscious but fell unconscious in the ambulance just prior to his arrival at the emergency department.

After considering all the evidence, Mr Allen recorded a verdict that the father of two died as a result of an accident.

Mr Allen said: "To explain how, where and when Mr Grassby came by his death, I will record that on August 26 last year he was at his home address lying in a hammock.

"When the structure the hammock was attached to failed, it fell on Mr Grassby – causing him to fall to the floor.

"Paramedics attended and transferred Mr Grassby to Poole General Hospital, where despite resuscitation attempts he later died.

"Given the circumstances as outlined I feel it is appropriate to record that he died as a consequence of an accident.

"That just leaves me to offer my sincere condolences to the family and friends of Mr Grassby for their loss."

Mr Grassby is survived by his wife Rosalyn, who was also a partner in his business.