Law chief to decide if murder charges can be brought after death of Bradford pensioner (From Bradford Telegraph and Argus)
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Law chief to decide if murder charges can be brought after death of Bradford pensioner
The Attorney General – the leading lawyer in the land – is likely to decide whether murder charges should be brought, following the death of Bradford pensioner Keith Alder.
An inquest in Bradford yesterday heard that 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 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, in October 2011.
Assistant Coroner Dominic Bell was told yesterday that 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 Queensbury with his wife Kath, was admitted to Bradford Royal Infirmary on August 3 this year, having become unresponsive at home, and died there four days later.
Detective Sergeant Karen Milner, of Trafalgar House police station, 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 said police had commenced 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 this year.
She said the Crown Prosecution Service had been consulted, but the Attorney General would 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 that, 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 added: “There is no difference of opinion as to how Mr Alder has died.
“The difference of opinion will come down to the previous medical history.”
The officer 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.
She said one of the defendants caused the head injuries by kicking Mr Alder and the other caused the abdominal injuries with a baseball bat.
Mr Bell adjourned the inquest for further police investigations. He released Mr Alder’s body for the funeral, which takes place tomorrow at St John the Evangelist Church, Great Horton.