Murder probe after OAP death

A MURDER investigation has been launched after a pensioner died from head injuries sustained in an assault in Hemsworth last year.

Wednesday, 25th April 2012, 7:30 am

Trevor Leighton, 78, died on March 15 - seven months after being attacked during a break-in at the Southmoor Hotel, where he worked as a caretaker.

An inquest which opened at Wakefield Coroner’s Court last Wednesday heard that Mr Leighton ended up at the Earls Lodge Care Home, Wakefield, due to the horrific injuries he suffered.

A postmortem revealed he died from pneumonia due to head injuries that had been inflicted during the assault.

Neil Brand, 24, of Craven Street, Hemsworth, had already pleaded guilty to the attack and was sent to prison for eight years on February 29.

Giving evidence at the inquest, Det Supt Dean Henson, of West Yorkshire Police’s homicide and major inquiry team, said officers had now launched a homicide investigation.

And the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) will decide whether to proceed with the new charges.

Det Supt Henson told the inquest that Mr Leighton was “found unconscious but breathing” after the early-morning break-in at the Southmoor Road hotel on August 14.

He said Brand broke into the property shortly before 1am.

Mr Leighton, a former railway worker who also lived at the hotel, came out of his room on hearing the disturbance and was assaulted.

He was taken to Barnsley District Hospital and then on to Pinderfields Hospital in Wakefield.

He was then looked after at the Earls Lodge Care Home where his condition took a turn for the worse.

Speaking to the Express after the inquest Det Supt Henson said a report was being put together for the CPS, which would decide whether to bring fresh charges against Brand.

Coroner David Hinchliff adjourned the inquest pending the outcome of further inquiries.