AN Oxfordshire businessman died on the final day of a holiday in Venice with his wife after falling down some steps on a bridge, an inquest has heard.

Graeme Smith, 64, passed away at an Italian hospital on December 10 last year.

He and his wife Irene had spent the previous week sightseeing in the beautiful Italian city, famed for its canals.

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An inquest at Oxford Coroner's Court yesterday heard how the couple, from Chalgrove, then spent their final days together at an Italian hospital.

The hearing was told how Mr Smith, born in Germany in 1955, was the managing director of a software company, and Mrs Smith also worked for an Oxfordshire software company in finance.

Coroner's officer Jerry McGlynn read a statement from Mrs Smith in which she outlined the events from December 6, 2019, when Mr Smith fell down the steps on the bridge, to December 10 when he died in hospital.

Mrs Smith described how, on December 6, she and Mr Smith were enjoying the last day of their four-day holiday in Venice by sightseeing.

The couple had left their bags at the hotel so they could explore the city before their flight home later that day.

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It was on the last day of their holiday that Mr Smith crossed a large stone bridge and tripped down the stairs.

Mrs Smith said: “He fell heavily and landed badly.”

Mrs Smith called for an ambulance which then took Mr Smith to a hospital.

Once he arrived at the hospital, he was rushed into emergency surgery to stop the bleeding from his head.

After the surgery Mr Smith remained in the same condition for a further four days, but died on December 10.

The doctor from the hospital in Italy gave three causes of death – an initial trauma, followed by a cerebral haemorrhage, then an intracranial hypertension.

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No post-mortem examination took place in Italy, but the conclusion from a post-mortem at the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford was that Mr Smith died from a severe head injury.

A GP from Mr Smith’s surgery in Chalgrove said he had no medical history of brain damage, and he only suffered from type two diabetes.

Summing up the evidence, Ms McGlynn said to the court that Mr Smith had sustained a significant head injury after falling on the stone bridge.

He received emergency medical treatment and surgery, but died four days later on December 10, 2019.

Ms McGlynn gave a final conclusion of accidental death.