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Inquest into Devon dad's death rules narrative verdict

Inquest into Devon dad's death rules narrative verdict

Published by Sarah Yeoman at 2:33pm 7th February 2020.

An inquest into the death of a dad from Devon has reached a narrative verdict.

49-year-old David Williams from Brixham was attacked on the quay back in June 2018.

It is believed that he was first assaulted outside the Three Elms pub, before a row broke out near the Crown and Anchor.

David was rushed to Derriford Hospital but tragically he could not be saved. He died four days later.

A murder investigation was launched and several people were arrested at the time, but no charges were brought.

Now an inquest, carried out by coroner Ian Arrow, has ruled a narrative verdict. That means the factual circumstances of the death have been recorded, without any blame of an individual.

It concluded that David was involved in an altercation in Brixham on Friday 29th June 2018.  He was struck in the face.

He was then involved in a second altercation outside the Crown and Anchor Public House in Brixham. He received a blow to the head which caused him to fall backwards and strike his head.

This caused a fatal head injury and his death on 3rd July 2018 at Derriford Hospital, Plymouth.

Back in October 2018, David's family released an emotional appeal, urging witnesses to come forward

David's family are still hoping to one day find answers.

"After 19 difficult months David’s death has been acknowledged as being a result of an assault and not an accident of any sort. 

"Someone present on the night of the attack caused the fatal head injury resulting in David’s untimely death. 

"This may lay very heavy with them for a long time to come, we are still hopeful that in the future feelings may change and either this person comes forward or any other eye witnesses/new evidence comes to light. 

"The least David deserves is justice. We are grateful for all of the hours the police worked on this case and we would like to thank everyone who has supported us through this challenging period."

David Williams' family

Devon and Cornwall Police say they hope it has brought a 'small element of closure' for the family.

"Following a detailed and lengthy investigation conducted by the Major Crime Team I hope that today’s inquest result can bring a small element of closure to David’s family.  

"However; the Narrative Verdict is only a small step within this investigation."

Detective Chief Inspector Lee Nattrass

Officers say no further action is being taken at this time but the investigation will be reviewed regularly.

DCI Nattrass added: "On the night that David died there was no CCTV in operation in the Crown and Anchor Public House.  In fact the nearest CCTV was of poor quality, did not cover the assault on David or was too far away to get a clear picture of what was happening on the Quay.  

"The only people who really know what happened that night have been arrested and interviewed.  Although no further action is to be taken at this time the investigation will remain subject to regular review, particularly against advances in digital technology and new information from the community.

"I would like to make a special thanks to the many members of the community who came forward with information and supported this investigation. This exhibited the true community spirit of Brixham and wishes of the people who live there to build a safer community and bring offenders to justice."

Detective Chief Inspector Lee Nattrass

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