Community stalwart died after choking on cake

Harry Maughan
Harry Maughan

A stalwart of the community died after choking on cake at a village hall was the conclusion of an inquest held last week.

Harry Maughan, 79, had attended a sequence dance at Northall Village Hall with his partner Heather Hing on March 3.

While helping to clear up in the kitchen during a break, friends noticed Mr Maughan, of Golden Riddy, Linslade, turn “ashen”.

It was thought the vice-chairman of the Leighton Buzzard Society was choking on some cake as he appeared to be trying to regurgitate something.

Heather stated at the inquest: “I was aware something was happening, and could see them lowering him into the chair.”

As Mr Maughan went into cardiac arrest, friends performed CPR before an ambulance arrived to take him to Luton & Dunstable Hospital.

Dr Stephen Brosnan, consultant anaesthetist at Luton & Dunstable Hospital, stated: “He was brought in on March 3 after a cardiac arrest.

“He was stablised. From the outset, it was clear he had suffered a major brain injury from his cardiac arrest.”

After several days of no improvement, doctors received permission from Harry’s family to cut off his air supply. He died peacefully on March 6.

Harry’s son Graham and partner Heather both paid tribute to him after the inquest at Ampthill Court House on June 11.

Graham said: “His first love was always music. He cared deeply about his community and was always very involved with the town.”

Heather added: “He was active right up to the end.

“Even the day he was taken bad, he’d been up to help with the after-school church.”

A registered organ donor, Harry helped save lives, including a woman in her 60s who received both kidneys.

A cause of death was registered as accidental death by choking.