A POLICE officer said there is a 'high probability' that a pensioner fell to his death from his bicycle after hitting a pothole on a main road in Bury.

Giving evidence at the inquest into Roger Hamer's death, PC David Holmes said he found it 'hard to offer any other explanation' as to how the 83-year-old was catapulted over his handle bars on March 5, 2016, while riding his bike in Bury New Road, Ramsbottom.

Mr Hamer, a retired depot area manager who lived in Manchester Road, Walmsley with his wife, was travelling at around 26mph when he fell, suffering a traumatic brain injury as well as multiple fractures, including to his skull and pelvis.

PC Holmes' police report, submitted as evidence and read out at the inquest, said: "It is possible to conclude with high probability his fall from his bike was a result of striking one or two of the defects in the road."

During the second day of the inquest, today August 10 at the Phoenix Centre in Heywood, evidence was also heard from Graham O'Connor, who worked as a highways inspector for Bury Council at the time of Mr Hamer's fall.

Mr O'Connor gave evidence for almost three and a half hours and was questioned by assistant coroner, Peter Sigee, a representative of Mr Hamer's family, Sarah Sutherland and Bury Council's representative, Mark Bradley, as well as by members of the jury.

He explained his role at the council - inspecting the highways of Ramsbottom and Tottington, noting defects, such as potholes and writing tickets for them to be filled in. He would also visit residents who had submitted complaints about potholes.

Mr Hamer's daughter, Ruth Topping, who lives in Manchester Road, also gave evidence. She was asked whether she had ever discussed potholes in Bury New Road with her father.

Mrs Topping said: "It was a topic for all Ramsbottom residents. We talked about the potholes and the state of the roads. It was general conversation."

She noted the roads were known for their potholes and said she had discussed them with her father.

Mr Hamer was not wearing a cycling helmet when he came off his bike and Mrs Topping confirmed she had wanted her father to wear a helmet but described him as 'very old school'.

She also told the inquest she had asked the consultant at Salford Royal Foundation Trust Hospital, where Mr Hamer was taken following his fall, if a helmet would have made a difference.

She said: "The consultant said to me, because of the absolute extent of the injuries, his skull was crushed in the middle of his face was shunted from one side to the other. They said it wouldn't have made any difference if he was wearing two helmets, which gave me some peace."

In the days before Mr Hamer's fall, a pothole in Bury New Road was inspected by Mr O'Connor, near to Helen Wesolowski's home.

She also gave evidence confirming she had reported a pothole and spoken to a council worker about it.

Mr O'Connor said when he inspected the road near to Ms Wesolowski's home he saw the pothole she had reported.

Photos submitted as evidence to the inquest show the road on the day of Mr Hamer's fall, near to the spot he came off his bike. At least three potholes were noted by police that day and photographed.

Questions to Mr O'Connor focused on whether he had inspected the wrong pothole as there was another larger one present the day Mr Hamer fell.

Mr O'Connor suggested it had formed in the days between his inspection on February 23 and Mr Hamer's fall on March 5.

When asked if it could have arisen in that timeframe he said: "It could possibly have done. When you consider all the lorries, one of those could have taken out a large chunk of that."

Mr Hamer died on April 2, 2016 in Salford Royal Foundation Trust Hospital.

The inquest will continue tomorrow, August 10, when the jury are expected to reach a conclusion.