Date: 29 Jul 1939
Place: Cracker Bridge, Burlescombe
Percy Codick died from a fracture to his right ankle.
It was thought that he might have been involved in a scuffle on a bridge.
A man from Harriss' Cottages in Westleigh said that he had been walking back from a pub in Burlescombe with two other people and that when they reached Cracker Bridge, they saw Percy Codick leaning over the parapet. He said that one of his friends stopped to speak to him whilst he walked on with another man. He said that he had gone about 20 yards when he thought he heard a scuffle, and said that when he looked around, he thought that he saw Percy Codick lying on the ground.
He said that he returned with the other man and said that Percy Codick told them that he thought he had a broken leg.
He said that the two other men then walked off and he helped Percy Codick along, with Percy Codick leaning on his shoulder, however, he was too heavy and fell and so he shouted to the other two men and they came back and they all took Percy Codick home.
The first of the other two men said that what the first man had said was true, except the part about Percy Codick lying on the ground. He said that Percy Codick had been standing up the whole time and that if he had of fallen that it would have been impossible for anyone to have seen him from a distance of twenty yards in the dark.
The second of the other two men gave evidence to the same effect and said that when he went back to the bridge Percy Codick had been standing up. He added that the road was rather rough except actually on the bridge and that it would have been quite possible for Percy Codick to have tripped. He also noted that there were some large stones on either side of the bridge that might have caused him to stumble.
After hearing the men's evidence, the Coroner said, 'It is impossible to get two people to give the same opinion of an accident, but in this case, perhaps, there is rather more than that. There is directly conflicting evidence between two or the three of the witnesses’.
Percy Codick was later taken to the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital where he died on 29 July 1939.
The doctor there said that his death was due to a fracture of the right ankle and added that quite apart from the fracture, Percy Codick had been in a very poor state of health and had sustained numerous cuts and bruises.
After hearing the evidence, the jury retired twice, and when they returned they returned an open verdict, adding that the evidence was of such a conflicting nature that it was impossible to discover the actual cause of the injury that caused his death.
Percy Codick had lived in The Steps in Westleigh, Burlescombe.
see Exeter and Plymouth Gazette - Friday 18 August 1939, p15