A TREE fell on top of a forester, causing fatal chest injuries, an inquest opening heard this week.

Paul Whitehouse, 42, of Queens Road, Freshwater, was working on woodland at Castlehaven Lane in Niton, Isle of Wight, on Monday, January 20.

Described at the Isle of Wight Coroner's Court as a construction worker and forester, Mr Whitehouse was working on the ground at the scene at the time, and had been felling some trees.

Coroner Caroline Sumeray explained: "He was the groundsperson, picking up wood and debris. A large piece of tree came down and landed on top of him."

He was taken by ambulance to St Mary's Hospital. The cause of death was chest injuries.

The inquest was adjourned to May 20.

As reported at the time, a 42-year-old man from Niton was arrested on suspicion of manslaughter by gross negligence.

He was released from custody but remains under investigation.

(Article originally appeared in the Isle of Wight County Press.)