Upholsterer died after long needle pierced brain through eye

Brian Pimley (61) died after foot-long needle fatally injured him while working on chair

Brian Pimley (61), of Dublin Road, Tyrrellspass, Co Westmeath died after a foot-long needle he routinely used as part of his work pierced through his brain to the back of his head, Dublin Coroner’s Court heard. File photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

Brian Pimley (61), of Dublin Road, Tyrrellspass, Co Westmeath died after a foot-long needle he routinely used as part of his work pierced through his brain to the back of his head, Dublin Coroner’s Court heard. File photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

 

A man with 40 years’ experience re-upholstering furniture died after a tool described as a “giant sewing needle” pierced his brain through his eye.

Brian Pimley (61), of Dublin Road, Tyrrellspass, Co Westmeath died after a foot-long needle he routinely used as part of his work pierced through his brain to the back of his head.

Mr Pimley, a self-employed upholsterer and a father of four, was working on a chair in his workshop to the rear of his home when the incident happened on April 8th, 2014.

Fixing a spring

“He was fixing a spring on a chair, he was using a long thin needle to remove staples from the chair,” his wife Helen Pimley said.

Mr Pimley had been using a “button needle”, described as a giant sewing needle by his sister Rita, for a purpose it was not designed, Dublin Coroner’s Court heard.

“I noticed his tea going cold so I went out and saw him lying on the floor. I thought he’d had a heart attack,” his wife told the court. Mr Pimley was able to tell her what happened.

“His exact words were, I stuck a needle in my eye, then fell backwards and heard a crack,” Ms Pimley said. She noticed the needle on the floor beside him.

Agitated and confused

Advance paramedic John Marshall arrived at the scene at 2.26pm. He said the injured man was agitated and confused.

“He had swelling to the left side of his face. His left eye was swollen shut,” Mr Marshall said.

Mr Pimley was rushed to Tullamore Hospital and later to Beaumont Hospital in Dublin, where he died 24 hours later.

In his report, David O’Brien, a neurosurgeon at Beaumont Hospital, said Mr Pimley had sustained a severe penetrating ocular cerebral injury. A CT scan revealed significant intra-cranial bleeding.

The inquest heard the button needle had pierced the deceased’s brain through his eye.

Pathologist Dr Michael Farrell carried out a postmortem at Beaumont Hospital.

Exit wound

He noted an exit wound to the rear of the brain, which was originally thought to be the result of Mr Pimley falling backwards and hitting his head.

There was no evidence of any secondary brain injury, however.

The inquest heard the needle went through Mr Pimley’s brain to the back of his head.

The cause of death was fatal haemorrhage as a result of the injury.

The jury returned a verdict of accidental death.