An inquest will be held into the death of a psychiatric patient left paralysed with a broken neck after allegedly being restrained by hospital staff.

The family of paranoid schizophrenic Freddie Wilkinson, 61, have welcomed the decision to hold a public hearing into the circumstances surrounding his death from pneumonia in Hinch-ingbrooke Hospital in Cambridgeshire on Monday, August 3.

They believe his death was directly related to the injuries he suffered in 2008 while he was a patient in Newton Lodge Hospital, Wakefield.

Mr Wilkinson’s sister Annie Bell-wood, 67, said: “Hopefully this will give us some answers into the way that Freddie died. If he was paralysed because of a broken neck, then that means fluid could have gone to his chest, causing the pneumonia.”

Mrs Bellwood, who had looked after her brother since he was ten months old, said the family had feared they would never find out why he died.

A spokesman for Cambridgeshire Coroner’s Office said: “There will be a full inquest into the death of Mr Wilkinson, which was reported to us on August 4 by Hinchingbrooke Hospital, which will include information about his condition and past history.”

The spokesman said a post-mortem examination had been carried out but no date had been set for the hearing.

West Yorkshire Police and the Health Protection Agency (HPA) started an investigation following allegations Mr Wilkinson had been injured as staff at Newton Lodge had restrained him.

But the police probe was later dropped on the advice of the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS).

A spokesman for the HPA yesterday said its own investigation, which started in May 2008, in conjunction with the police inquiry, was still ongoing.

South West Yorkshire Partnership NHS Trust, which is responsible for Newton Lodge, declined to comment.

Mr Wilkinson’s funeral was held on Friday at Scholemoor Cemetery in Bradford.