A WIDOWER died from injuries sustained after falling while chasing a burglar from his home.
Anthony Booth, 71, of Beeston Street, Northwich, had been sleeping in his armchair when he awoke to find a stranger in his living room on August 16, 2006.
At an inquest into his death on Wednesday, Cheshire deputy coroner Dr Janet Napier heard how Mr Booth had tripped and fallen while in pursuit of the burglar, who made off with a tin of money and a bank book containing around £120.
The inquest heard that Mr Booth had possibly fallen due to his trousers being unbuttoned, which relieved pain he suffered from a swollen spleen.
A friend of the pensioner, Margaret McDonald, of Park-field Road, Northwich, described how she received a phone call to say that an ambulance was outside his house.
She said: 'When I got there he was in the house with a friend and we talked about what had happened.
'The police came about half an hour after I called them. He was upset and shook up but he seemed okay in himself.'
The inquest heard Mr Booth refused to be taken to hospital, but two days later was admitted with broken ribs which had pierced his internal organs and caused bleeding into the thorax. He died at Leighton Hospital on September 2.
A statement from PC Peter Cole, who attended the scene, said police had not found evidence of a forced entry.
The inquest heard how it was possible the burglar had got in using a key Mr Booth had tied to the inside of his letter box.
In statements made to police by Mr Booth on the day of the fall, he described the intruder as of slim build, with cropped hair and wearing a baseball hat. No-one has ever been arrested.
Coroner Dr Napier recorded Mr Booth's death as accidental, contributed to by natural disease.