A MAN whose death at his South Shields home sparked a murder-style probe had pre-existing health issues, an inquest heard yesterday.
Keith Hansen died after suffering a head injury during an altercation at his home in Longleat Gardens, South Shields, with a group of people, who were later arrested.
The father-of-one had become involved in the argument on August 19 last year.
After his death, six people were arrested, but have now been released without further action.
Home Office pathologist Dr Mark Egan, who carried out the post mortem examination on Mr Hansen, gave evidence at the hearing, held at South Tyneside Coroner’s Office, in Station Road, Hebburn.
He told coroner Terence Carney, and Mr Hansen’s sister, Kirsty, along with other family members, that the 30-year-old had two pre-existing but undiagnosed medical conditions.
Mr Hansen had a severe coronary artery disease, a type known to cause heart attacks, and an Arnold-Chiari malformation - a brain deformity.
He said both conditions could have caused his sudden death at any time.
Mr Hansen, he said, was also under the effects of amphetamine and the anti-depressant citalopram.
But he said: “In my opinion, he would not have died at that time had it not been for the head injury.”
Mr Hansen also had a broken sternum and ribs, but Dr Egan said these injuries were most likely sustained during attempts by police officers and paramedics to resuscitate him.
Mr Carney adjourned the hearing after being told that Mr Hansen’s family wish to consult solicitors.
He said: “If I was giving a verdict in this case, now that there is no prosecution happening, I would say that he died due to the combined effect of pre-existing, undiagnosed neurological and cardiological disorders, drug-induced intoxication and the stress of having become involved with others in a violent public disorder on August 19, 2012, in Longleat Gardens, South Shields.
“However, I won’t return that verdict today, as the family is going to speak to a solicitor.
“We will wait to see what comes of that. For now, I am adjourning this inquest.”
A spokesman for the family said: “We are looking at the evidence and the statements which have been made.
“We have an appointment with a solicitor and are going to take legal advice, so we can see where we can take this case.”