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Gran plunges to death in St John's Wood

PUBLISHED: 11:38 16 January 2009 | UPDATED: 15:50 07 September 2010

Josie Hinton A GRANDMOTHER plunged to her death from her third floor St John s Wood flat window as she tried to get better mobile phone reception, an inquest heard. Narcissus Dixon, 59, died after falling from the flat in Scott Ellis Gardens at 8.35am on

Josie Hinton

A GRANDMOTHER plunged to her death from her third floor St John's Wood flat window as she tried to get better mobile phone reception, an inquest heard.

Narcissus Dixon, 59, died after falling from the flat in Scott Ellis Gardens at 8.35am on October 27 last year.

Ms Dixon had been on the phone to her daughter Lisa Sampson shortly before she fell, Westminster Coroner's Court was told on Wednesday.

The accident was witnessed by heating engineer Stephen Atkinson, who was working in the bathroom of the flat below.

"I could see her come towards the window with her phone in her left hand and, as she came towards it, she leant across as if trying to get better phone reception," he said. "As she leant forwards, she just carried on going and fell."

Ms Dixon was found on the ground below by passers-by and she was screaming: "My head hurts, I can't breathe."

Paramedics treated her at the scene before she was rushed to the Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel but she died of her injuries at 11.20am.

Inspector Simon Jarvis, of Paddington Green Police Station, who attended the scene, said his officers found no evidence of a struggle in the flat. There was no suicide note - which led police to believe the fall was accidental.

A postmortem revealed Ms Dixon had taken a small amount of cocaine but had no alcohol in her blood.

Coroner Paul Knapman recorded a verdict of accidental death.

He said: "There are three reasons that a person would die after falling from a window - either they are pushed, they jump or they fall by accident, which is very rare. In fact, this is the first case of someone falling while on the telephone that has been in this court."

Ms Dixon, also known as Valerie Sampson, was born in Kingston, Jamaica. She moved to Britain in 1959 when she was 10.

She was a keen handbag collector and lover of fashion and had recently started studying Kabbala to get in touch with her spiritual side.

Her daughter Ms Sampson, who was on the phone to her mother immediately before the fall, said: "There is some comfort in knowing it was an accident. But there's nothing else I can say."

Her husband Femi Adeniji added that she would be sorely missed by her grandchildren Elijah and Samara, aged 10 and seven.

"She was a wonderful person," added close friend Dorothy Grant.

"She would do anything for anybody, and she will be greatly missed by all her friends and family.

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