THE inquest into the deaths of former Vale council deputy leader AJ Williams and his wife has concluded the pair died after both falling over on one of the hottest days of the year.

The bodies of Mr Williams, 86, and his wife Faith, 87, were found on the driveway of their home in Welsh Saint Donats in June this year. The inquest heard the pair were likely unable to get up after they both fell.

The couple were discovered lying face down within metres of each other, after their daughter raised the alarm when she could not reach them on the phone.

Mr Williams was a Vale of Glamorgan councillor for 48 years, as well as a former mayor and deputy council leader.

He was awarded an MBE in 2004 for services to local government and conservation in the Vale of Glamorgan.

Ruth Williams, who described her parents as "teenage sweethearts" and "a great team for over 70 years," rang family friend William Fawcett at 9.25pm on June 18 to say she had spoken to her parents in the morning but they were not answering the phone, Cardiff Coroner's Court heard.

Mr Fawcett said in a statement read to the inquest that he went to their house and found Mr Williams lying to the right side of the driveway with a pillow under his head, while Mrs Williams was at the bottom with one slipper on and the other halfway up the driveway near her husband.

Coroner Philip Spinney ruled that Mr and Mrs Williams' deaths were accidental and had happened after Mr Williams fell on the driveway and Mrs Williams went to help him, before falling herself.

Speaking after the hearing, Dr Williams said: "This inquest has shown that my dear parents both suffered injuries when they fell on the steep part of their drive.

"Dad had five cracked ribs and mum had a bump on the head, so it's no wonder they could not get up and passed out in the extreme heat of that day in mid-June.

"It is a very, very sad set of circumstances."

Dr Williams said their mobility had deteriorated in the months before their death but that her father, a former science teacher, had "started to be more mobile" about 10 days before he died, having got a three-wheeled walker.

Pathologist Thomas Hockey said both Mr and Mrs Williams' injuries were consistent with a slip or fall, which combined with the high temperatures and pre-existing medical conditions, ultimately caused their deaths.

Dr Williams added: "They served the community in so many ways and were wonderful parents. I miss them greatly, especially their wise counsel."

Vale of Glamorgan Council leader John Thomas and MP Alun Cairns both paid tribute to the pair after their deaths earlier this year.

Cllr Thomas said: "Tony was the elder statesman providing valuable support and advice to myself as a new and inexperienced councillor. Both he and Faith will be sadly missed but fondly remembered."

Mr Cairns added that Mr Williams would have a "long lasting legacy" as a result of his work on environmental matters and increasing green spaces in the Vale of Glamorgan.