Upminster man killed by hedge-trimmer in tragic gardening accident

Doncaster Way, Upminster

Malcolm Haywood died in a tragic gardening accident at his home in Doncaster Way, Upminster - Credit: Google Streetview

An Upminster man was killed in a tragic gardening accident just months into his retirement, a coroner’s court heard this week. 

Malcolm Haywood, 66, died at his home in Doncaster Way after falling from a ladder while handling a mechanical hedge-cutter described by investigators as resembling a chainsaw.

Mr Hayood's wife Susan and other relatives attended an inquest into his death on Tuesday, July 19.

His brother John said in a statement: “His passing has left a large void in our lives."

The court heard Mr Haywood had planned to trim a hedge in his back garden on March 20, then go for a bike ride. 

“He came in for lunch and everything was fine,” said Mrs Haywood. 

“Obviously he went back into the garden and I was pottering indoors, but I didn’t realise the difficulty he had got into.” 

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When Mrs Haywood went out to offer her husband a cup of tea, said coroner Graeme Irvine, she "found a horrific scene".

Mrs Haywood, who attempted CPR, told the court she wished she had found her husband sooner.

But Mr Irvine assured her that the wound’s severity meant it would not have changed the outcome. 

“I don’t think there’s anything else you could have done,” he said. 

Mr Haywood, born in Canning Town in 1955, was the youngest of four brothers. 

He left school at 16, did an apprenticeship with Royal Mail and became a vehicle mechanic. 

He went on to work for several other organisations, including Tower Hamlets Council. 

He and Susan moved to Upminster in 1987 and had remained in Doncaster Way ever since. 

A police investigation was initially launched into Mr Haywood's death as a formality, but quickly ruled out foul play.

Mr Irvine recorded a conclusion of accidental death, giving the cause as hypovolemic shock caused by loss of blood.

He said it was particularly sad that Mr Haywood had died just as he was about to embark on his retirement. 

“To lose him in such a way must really compound the grief and I am terribly sorry for your loss,” he said. “You are very much in my thoughts.”