A MAN died from a staircase fall after his aunt and her partner left him seriously injured for more than day.

An inquest at Burnley Magistrates’ Court heard Anthony Sykes fractured his spinal cord after falling down the stairs in his aunt’s Burnley home two weeks before Christmas in December 2017.

His aunt, Deborah Bradshaw, and her partner, Dale Barrett, who had both taken amphetamines, chose not to phone the paramedics initially, the inquest heard.

Mr Sykes’ mother, Terri Wilkinson, asked the inquest: “It’s all right to leave someone at the bottom of the stairs with injuries and just walk away? Where’s the criminal justice in that?”

But the inquest heard while the pair may have had a ‘moral obligation’ to phone 999, no crime had been committed.

Forensic pathologist Philip Lumb, who conducted the post mortem examination, said Mr Sykes had amphetamine in his blood and died from hypothermia due to the injuries sustained in the fall.

The inquest heard Mr Sykes visited his aunt at her Sunderland Street home with her partner after visiting a pub and an off-licence, to buy four cans of lager.

Mr Sykes was helping set up the festive decorations in the house and while trying to move the Christmas tree from the top of the staircase to the bottom, slipped and fell backwards at around 10pm.

The inquest heard the he fractured the base of his neck as well as his spinal cord. A major artery was also left badly damaged.

Several hours later, Mr Barrett and Ms Bradshaw, who had both taken amphetamine, tried to move Mr Sykes to the sofa but were unable to. They then left him lying at the bottom of the stairs for the next 26 hours.

The inquest heard Ms Bradshaw thought Mr Sykes was not badly injured.

She also told her nephew to ‘sleep it off’ before putting a blanket over him and turning the heating up after Mr Sykes said he felt cold. She then went to bed.

Mr Barrett spent the next 26 hours attempting to find a neighbour’s lost dog, visiting a 24-hour garage to pick up some more alcohol and buying some more amphetamines before going to bed.

When Mr Sykes’ aunt woke up in the early hours of Monday, she phoned an ambulance after realising her nephew was still at the base of the stairs. Paramedics arrived shortly after 5.50am and Mr Sykes was taken to Royal Preston Hospital, where he died shortly after.

DI Paul Barlow, who visited the home of Mr Sykes’s aunt, said there was a ‘moral obligation’ for Mr Barrett and Ms Bradshaw to phone the ambulance earlier than they did but said they had not committed a crime.

He said: “They lived a chaotic lifestyle but there is no criminal act for not seeking medical attention.”

Coroner James Newman adjourned concluding the inquest to a later date while the court waits for a neurosurgeon to attend.

The coroner said the neurosurgeon would determine whether Mr Sykes could have survived if the ambulance had been called earlier.

Mr Newman said: “There should be culpability but unfortunately that’s not the case. I can’t change the law.”