A public stairway was labelled a ‘hazard’ around two weeks before a pensioner died after falling down it, an inquest heard.
Great grandmother Maureen Tandy, of Manor, Sheffield suffered a bleed on the brain after fracturing her skull tripping on the bottom section of the steps at South Street Park.
The 74-year-old, described as ‘fit and sure-footed’ by her family, was taken to Northern General Hospital following the incident but never made a recovery. She died a day later on December 14, 2011.
When Mrs Tandy’s clothes were returned to her husband Brian, the heels on both her shoes were missing. Her brother Lawrence Jessop recovered one from grass near the stairway, known as the Steel City Steps, two days after she fell.
The first day of an inquest at Sheffield’s Medico Legal Centre heard two people - a Safer Neighbourhood officer, and resident Dorothy Dimberline - reported concerns with the stairs’ metal edging in the weeks before the accident.
Ms Dimberline said: “I use the steps almost every day. I had noticed when walking down that on some steps the metal part had come away from the rest of the step a little bit. I nearly tripped and I was careful after that.”
The complaints were passed on to Sheffield Council’s Parks and Countryside department and then sent to contractors GF Tomlinson Ltd, who were obliged to carry out any maintenance work for two years after the stairs’ completion in June 2011.
A chain of emails between the local authority and the company - one of which said ‘this flight is giving us no end of problems’ - was read out by assistant deputy coroner Julian Fox.
Terry Radford, contracts manager at GF Tomlinson, said: “The glue was failing and creating a very small gap between the metal and the concrete.”
The edging of the steps was screwed into place following Mrs Tandy’s fall.
A verdict is expected to be delivered today.