Law chief to decide whether murder charges should be brought following death of pensioner (From Keighley News)
Get involved: send your pictures, video, news and views by texting KNEWS to 80360, or email
Law chief to decide whether murder charges should be brought following death of pensioner
10:00am Thursday 5th September 2013 in Keighley
The Attorney General – the leading lawyer in the land – is likely to decide whether murder charges should be brought following the death of pensioner Keith Alder.
An inquest in Bradford on Tuesday heard 68-year-old Mr Alder – who had to have his legs amputated after a brutal attack two years ago – died last month from a stroke.
Ladislav Balaz, of Samuel Street in Keighley, and his uncle Bartolomej Makula were jailed for 16 years and 15 years respectively for causing grievous bodily harm with intent after Mr Alder, a retired roofer, was attacked while on his way home from a club in Great Horton, Bradford, in October 2011.
Assistant Coroner Dominic Bell was told Mr Alder sustained serious head and abdominal injuries. He underwent surgery but there were complications and his legs had to be amputated above the knees.
Coroner’s officer Malcolm Dyson said Mr Alder, who had moved to a bungalow in Queens-bury with his wife, Kath, was admitted to Bradford Royal Infirmary on August 3 this year, having become unresponsive at home, and died four days later.
Detective Sergeant Karen Milner said a forensic post-mortem examination had found Mr Alder died of a stroke.
Det Sgt Milner said Mr Alder had no history of such illness, but had suffered a stroke in November 2011 following, and as a direct consequence of, the assault.
She said the likelihood of him having the stroke that led to his death had been significantly increased by the first one, which had led to blood-clotting problems.
Det Sgt Milner added police had begun a further investigation, and a detailed report had been requested of the pathologist, along with a formal statement covering Mr Alder’s medical treatment since January.
The Crown Prosecution Service has been consulted, but the Attorney General will make the final decision on any murder charges, which would take six to eight months.
The inquest heard a second post-mortem examination had been conducted on behalf of lawyers representing the two defendants.
That pathologist had verbally agreed, on the balance of probability Mr Alder’s death from a stroke was a result of the assault, but he could not reach the conclusion it could be proved beyond reasonable doubt to a criminal level, the hearing was told.
Det Sgt Milner said there was evidence a group pursued Mr Alder, but only two men took part in the attack while the others, who were never identified, watched.
Mr Bell adjourned the inquest for further police investigations. He released Mr Alder’s body for the funeral, which takes place today at St John the Evangelist Church in Great Horton.