A RESTAURANT was found not to have breached health and safety following the death of a woman who fell down its staircase.

Grove Golf & Bowl, near Leominster, was investigated by the council’s environmental health department after Catherine Ann Marsh, 68, fell down steps onto a stone floor.

The slip came as she left the complex’s restaurant and caused a traumatic brain injury which led to her death the following day.

Mrs Marsh, of Cleobury Mortimer, was rushed to Hereford County Hospital following the incident at 10pm on February 1, but passed away the following day.

A Hereford inquest held last week into her death heard her husband Roger Marsh voice concerns about the flooring at the restaurant and the fact there was only a handrail on one side of the staircase.

He said: “There should have been a second handrail and the flooring at the bottom should have carpet so if accidents do occur injuries are minimised.

“Two ladies in front of me went down the stair sideways as they were daunted by the look of it.”

However, Jane Coggle, Environmental Health Officer for Herefordshire Council, said that following a visit to the restaurant no formal action has been taken and there is no evidence of a breach in health and safety.

Mrs Marsh was described as ‘fit and healthy’, and worked part-time at B&Q as a sales assistant.

On February 1, a group of 13 friends decided to go tenpin bowling and have dinner at the leisure complex. The group went to the restaurant which was accessed by walking up 15 wooden steps.

At 10pm the group left and Mr Marsh went down the staircase ahead of his wife, who had stopped to talk a friend.

“As I reached the bottom I heard a noise and she was lying by my feet on the stone slab,” added Mr Marsh. “I could see an injury to the right hand side of her head.

“She was unconscious immediately and never regained conciousness.”

Mrs Coggle said the steps were not particularly slippery and were the kind found anywhere else. She said that looking at the accident book there were only two other incidents, both of which were completely unrelated to the stairs.

Mrs Coggle said that valid comments had been made about a softer landing.

“After everything is over I will discuss with The Grove recommendations,” she added.

Assistant Coroner Roland Wooderson recorded a verdict of accidental death.

He confirmed: “There was no obvious breach of the Health and Safety at Work Act.”