A coroner has ruled that the death of a South Tyneside man was an unlawful killing because of an assault he suffered 17 years ago.
Paul Darren Hassan, 49, was found dead at his home in Gordon Road, South Shields, on July 12.
A hearing, led by South Tyneside coroner Terence Carney, heard that Mr Hassan was the victim of an assault 17 years ago, when he was attacked by his then-brother-in-law with a metal walking stick.
The attack led to him suffering from epilepsy and damaged his vision.
Mr Hassan, a dad-of-three and grandad-of-two, suffered frequent epileptic attacks and was deemed unfit to work, leading to him feeling low and drinking heavily.
When he was found dead at this home, police were concerned by bruising around his ears and feared he may have been attacked.
A post mortem was carried out by a Home Office pathologist who found that the bruises were older and suffered during an epileptic fit.
Mr Hassan’s cause of death was given as a subdural haemorrhage contributed to by a contusion of the brain and epilepsy.
Mr Carney gave a finding of unlawful killing because Mr Hassan would not have had epilepsy had it not been for the attack 17 years ago.
Police are not taking any further action because Mr Hassan’s attacker died in January.
Finding: Unlawful killing