Coroner halts inquest after murder charge

Woodland Terrace in Concord, Washington, where the attack on Joseph Leach took place.

Woodland Terrace in Concord, Washington, where the attack on Joseph Leach took place.

An inquest into the death of a man who died 18 months after being severely beaten in a street attack has been adjourned.

Joseph Leach died on April 2, 2015, after suffering serious injuries when he was assaulted in Woodland Terrace, in Washington.

The attack on the 33-year-old, from Woodland Terrace, happened on December 23, 2013.

Mr Leach was left with a fractured skull, bleeding on the brain and severe facial injuries.

He narrowly survived the attack due to the medical help he received.

Mr Leach needed an eight-hour operation to repair damage to his brain and further surgery during a two-month hospital stay.

However, he died 18 months later, aged 33.

Yesterday, an inquest into his death was reconvened and adjourned by Sunderland coroner Derek Winter at Sunderland Civic Centre.

The decision was taken after the coroner was told a man had been charged in connection with the attack and was appearing at Newcastle Crown Court.

Mr Winter said: “I have been notified by the Crown Prosecution Service that an individual has now been charged and will be appearing at Newcastle Crown Court.

“We will now adjourn the case pending the outcome of the crown court proceedings.”

Former soldier Karl Pascoe, 31, from Blackfell, Washington, has been charged with the murder of Mr Leach.

He appeared at South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court on Friday by videolink from Nottingham Prison.

He was remanded in custody ahead of the crown court hearing yesterday.

The case was heard at the court by a judge in chambers.

Pascoe was previously jailed for 13 years at Newcastle Crown Court last June, in connection with the attack on Mr Leech.

The then 29-year-old, who was a Coldstream guardsman based at Windsor barracks, had been cleared of attempted murder by a jury, but convicted of causing grievous bodily harm with intent.