THE death of the man who fell down the stairs at a Bournemouth pub has been recorded as an accident, despite it being revealed the stairs would not comply with building regulations had they have been built now.

Philip Brian Shaw, 47, from Bradford, died in the early hours of Sunday, February 23, 2020, after falling on his way to the toilets in the Christopher Creeke Wetherspoons pub in Holdenhurst Road.

An 11-person jury returned the conclusion the death was an accident after a two-day inquest at Bournemouth Town Hall.

Wetherspoons pub fall: Inquest into Bournemouth death begins

At 1.26am on February 23, Mr Shaw was located at the bottom of stairs by the basement toilets after falling around ten minutes earlier.

Pathologist Dr Juliane Stolte recorded the medical cause of death as multiple head injuries due to fall.

Months earlier, two non-fatal incidents occurred at the same set of 15 stairs in June and July, the inquest heard, with the former being taken to hospital via air ambulance.

Following these incidents, health and safety manager for Wetherspoons, Paul Carrington, engaged with the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) to assess the risk of the stairs.

Changes were made to the stairs following previous incidents, including improved lighting and yellow nosing on the edge of the top and bottom stairs.

Mr Carrington did confirm that if the building had been built now, the narrow staircase would not comply with building regulations, however such regulations cannot be applied retrospectively.

A report was commissioned to be carried out by HSE, but was not seen at the time of Mr Shaw’s fall.

Mark Liddle, of HSE, found there to be some inconsistencies with the dimensions of the stairs, for example step eight was six centimetres on one side in length and 6.25 centimetres on the other side.

Mr Liddle said this “could have increased” the risk of falling but found the building did not breach any legislation.

The stairs leading to the toilet have been closed since the incident, with the company seeking alternative access.

Matthew Taylor, of the environmental health office at BCP Council, found there to be some movement in step eight, which he believed to be the step Mr Shaw fell from, but also confirmed the pub did not breach any legislation.

Following approximately an hour of deliberations, the jury returned a conclusion of an accident.

A spokesperson for JD Wetherspoon said: "At the outset, JD Wetherspoon plc and the pub team at the Christopher Creeke extend their deepest condolences to Mr Shaw’s family and friends following this tragedy. After two days of evidence the jury returned a conclusion of accidental death after finding that Mr Shaw died from injuries sustained in a fall whilst descending stairs in the pub.

"The company has always and will continue to make the safety of its customers a priority. 

"The environmental health officer confirmed that there were no obvious hazards present on the stairs and that the company was not in breach of any health and safety legislation."