A 32-YEAR-OLD woman died on Christmas Day after hitting her head when she fell down the stairs at home.

Leigh Brandwood was found at the bottom of the stairs by her ‘soul mate’ Ishfaq Shah at his home in Nelson, after they had been drinking together on Christmas Eve.

Giving evidence at the inquest at Burnley Magistrates Court, Dr Brian Rogers said: “From tests we could see she had a very serious head injury.

“There was no evidence to suggest Leigh had been assaulted. This was a severe blunt force head injury consistent with a fall.

“I can’t say whether she fell the full length of the stairs or just a few but she struck her head hard on something to cause a significant fracture.

“Hers were unsurvivable injuries. She wouldn’t have survived even with medical treatment.”

Mr Shah said he had picked Miss Brandwood up from her mum’s on Christmas Eve and they had gone home.

He told the inquest: “I had some Jack Daniels and Leigh had some wine. She wasn’t drunk though.

“I went to bed about 11.10pm and Leigh was still downstairs but she said she wouldn’t be long.

“At about 6.30am I went down and found her in between the stairs and the living room, snoring very loudly. I tried to wake her up but got no response.

“I thought she was sleeping. I never heard anything in the night, never heard her come upstairs, never heard her fall.

“I went back to bed and then later came down and she was still there and I could see blood at the back of her head. I panicked and phoned her mum and then phoned the ambulance.”

Miss Brandwood, of Pendle Street, was taken to Royal Preston Hospital at around 11am on Christmas Day and was later pronounced dead.

Detective Inspector Tom Edmondson said as a matter of course police arrested Mr Shah at the scene and kept him in custody for 30 hours while they tried to piece together Miss Brandwood’s last movements.

Mr Shah said he was angered at the treatment he received as he felt he was prevented from seeing his partner while she was in hospital fighting for her life.

He told Det Insp Edmondson: “She was my soulmate and you denied me my last moments with her.”

Coroner Richard Taylor said: “There’s nothing to suggest this is anything other than an accidental death.

“Leigh Brandwood died at Royal Preston Hospital on December 25 from injuries sustained in an unwitnessed fall down the stairs at home.”

Speaking after the inquest, Miss Brandwood’s mother, Julie Brandwood said: “She was a lovely person, a very kind and generous person and this was a tragic accident.”