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A window cleaner has died after getting his foot caught in his ladder and plunging 15ft to the ground.

Hugh Winfield, known as Hughie, was working in Western Road, Lewes, when the freak accident happened.

The 51-year-old, who was due to become a grandfather again in three months, carried out rounds in Coldean, Moulsecoomb and Woodingdean as well as Lewes and rural East Sussex.

His death on Tuesday was followed two days later by that of his beloved pet Max, a Staffordshire bull terrier.

Mr Winfield’s widow, Karen, said she believed the dog had died of a broken heart.

Speaking yesterday from their home in Wolseley Road, Coldean, she said: “The vet said it was probably a coincidence but Max was very sensitive.

“I will miss them both so much – I think they are together again.”

Describing what happened to Mr Winfield, who was nicknamed the Silver Fox by members of his darts team in Hollingbury, she said: “Witnesses said that his foot got caught and he sort of jumped backwards, hitting his head on the ground.

“Last week everything was normal – now it has all changed.”

Mr Winfield died on his father Clive’s birthday and just two days before his mother Jackie’s birthday.

His daughter Mikayla, who is six months pregnant, turned 24 on Thursday.

Mrs Winfield said: “Everybody loved him. “He had a lot of friends and a lot of interests.

Mr Winfield leaves a son James, 30, and daughters Lynsey, 26, and Mikayla, 24, stepsons, Kelvin, 34, Ross, 32, Scott, 29, and Jay, 25, his parents and siblings.

An inquest will be held in due course.