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Grandmother, 52, dies after her pyjama top gets caught in oven door handle in freak accident 

Grandmother, 52, dies after her pyjama top gets caught in oven door handle in freak accident

  • Jackie Cottrill, 52, had apparently fallen before her clothing became tangled
  • Coroner Dr James Adeley said he had ‘never come across such an unusual case’ during 20 years of inquests
  • Miss Cottrill was found dead at her home in Blackburn in January by her nephew 


A grandmother died after she was strangled in a freak accident by her pyjama top which had caught in the door handle of her oven.

Barmaid Jackie Cottrill, 52, had apparently fallen before her clothing became tangled, an inquest heard.

Coroner Dr James Adeley said he had ‘never come across such an unusual case’ during 20 years of inquests. But he ruled there were no suspicious circumstances.

Barmaid Jackie Cottrill, 52, had apparently fallen before her clothing became tangled, an inquest heard

Miss Cottrill was found dead at her home in Blackburn on January 24 by her nephew Josh Brocklebank who had been staying with her. He came downstairs at lunchtime and found her collapsed by the oven door.

A post mortem examination revealed no signs of disease. Death was caused by the compression of Miss Cottrill’s neck.

Following discussion with Miss Cottrill’s family, the coroner recorded the cause of death as asphyxiation because he wanted to make it clear that Miss Cottrill’s death was purely an accident.

Coroner Dr James Adeley said he had 'never come across such an unusual case' during 20 years of inquests. But he ruled there were no suspicious circumstances. The inquest took place at Preston Coroner's Court (file image)

Coroner Dr James Adeley said he had ‘never come across such an unusual case’ during 20 years of inquests. But he ruled there were no suspicious circumstances. The inquest took place at Preston Coroner’s Court (file image)

‘What appears to have happened is that she has fallen and caught her pyjama top on the lower handle of the oven door,’ Dr Adeley said.

‘I can’t explain how she ended up in this position. In my 20 years of doing this I have never come across this happening.’

Returning a conclusion of accidental death, the coroner said Miss Cottrill had died ‘through extraordinarily bad luck’. 

Her daughters, Sarah Ramsdale and Toni Cottrill, attended the hearing. ‘Only she knows how it happened,’ Miss Ramsdale said.

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