Southampton City Council has defended its decision to house a blind man in a fourth floor flat.

Just five months later, Potters Court resident Mark Williams fell to his death. 

The 60-year-old was allocated a flat on the top floor because it was "lighter", an inquest heard. 

Despite concerns he was becoming "disorientated" and could not remember what floor his flat was on, Mr Williams was never moved.

The father-of-two was registered blind and had been undergoing treatment for lymphoma when he was found dead below his balcony in November 2021. 

Daily Echo: Police outside Potters Court in SouthamptonPolice outside Potters Court in Southampton (Image: NQ)

Giving evidence at Winchester Coroner's Court on the second day of his inquest, Martin Smith, a housing and community care officer at the council, said there were concerns that the ground floor apartments at Potters Court were darker.

Mr Williams was medically assessed but Mr Smith said "insufficient information was provided in his application to support a ground floor need". 

Shortly after moving into Potters Court, Mr Williams began "struggling to know what level his flat was on" before he then became disorientated in his own flat. 

A specialist lightbulb was fitted but calls for him to be moved to the ground floor were not acted on, the inquest heard.

Chris Canning, representing his family, asked Mr Smith: "Was it important to you to consider whether or not housing him on a higher floor presented a risk?"

Mr Smith replied: "At the time I don't believe there was an identified risk of putting him on a higher floor. It was deemed stable.

"He didn't have to negotiate stairs because of the lift in the block."

READ MORE: Blind man's balcony fall death 'a gross failing'

In a statement read out by the coroner, Deborah Road, a senior housing officer at the council, said: "A decision was made to allocate the top floors first."

She added: "Flat 79 Potters Court, a one-bedroom property was identified for Mr Williams.

"His care level was assessed as Bronze. (This meant he) could be allocated any one-bedroom flat with no specific need for ground floor accommodation as he could use a lift."

Tara Gray, who worked for the council's sensory services department, said she was not made aware of any issues after Mr Williams moved in. 

When he first viewed it, he "felt the flat was perfect for his needs and felt excited to move in", she said. 

READ MORE: Blind man got lost in flat prior to death

Ed Lyons-Davis, who found Mr Williams' body on November 9, 2021, lived with his mother and had gone out for a cigarette at the time. 

He said: "As I finished my cigarette I turned to come back in and I noticed a shape on the floor. 

"I could tell it was a human. Not wanting to distress my mother I left her in the flat and went down to the carers."

Detective Constable Rachel Hannam attended. 

In a statement she said: "When I opened the [balcony] door the [model] car that was in front of it was bashed out of the way.

"This led me to believe that Mr Williams exited the flat via the window. There was no sign of a struggle within the property."

The inquest continues.