Star Trek superfan died after bedroom fall

Hertfordshire Coroner's Court
Hertfordshire Coroner's Court

An avid Star Trek enthusiast died after slipping and hitting his head in a fall at home, a coroner has ruled today (Wednesday).

John Masters, 59, died on December 12 last year after he slipped and fell in his bedroom at home in Howards Drive, Hemel Hempstead.

He died in his happy world.

Herts’ senior coroner, Edward Thomas

In an inquest held at the Hertfordshire Coroner’s Court it was heard that Mr Masters, who had learning difficulties, had collected memorabilia from the sci-fi television series since he was 17.

His bedroom at the semi-detached home he shared with his profoundly deaf brother was filled ‘floor to ceiling’ with toys, magazines and other Star Trek-themed items.

Mr Masters’ family, who attended the inquest, said he enjoyed visiting both WH Smiths and Waterstones on shopping trips so he could look at the Star Trek books.

He bought a Star Trek magazine every two weeks and displayed the free toy in his bedroom, often affixing the space ships from the ceiling using sellotape.

It was when Mr Masters was carrying out this fortnightly ritual that he slipped, banged his head and lost consciousness, falling face first onto his bedroom floor.

Paramedics attended the scene but Mr Masters could not be rescusitated.

Pathologist Dr Matilda Ralph said: “He banged his head which may have caused a loss of consciousness and the respiratory airway became restricted after a period of time.”

When asked by Mr Masters’ family whether he would have suffered, Dr Ralph said: “I do not believe he was concious when he fell, so he would have just slipped away.

“He would not have known.”

Herts’ senior coroner Edward Thomas said: “It was an unintended and unwanted death.

“John was obviously very happy and contented.

“He had his Star Trek model, and when he was putting it up he unfortunately slipped.

“He was doing something he enjoyed and it was in his territory, his domain.

“He died in his happy world.”

A verdict of accidental death caused by postural asphyxia was recorded.