Men arrested over death of homeless man seen entering underpass "with hoods up"
PUBLISHED: 17:39 25 June 2018 | UPDATED: 08:27 26 June 2018
A detective who investigated the suspected murder of a homeless man in a pedestrian underpass told an inquest that two men were arrested but no charges were brought.
Sergiusz Meges, 29, was found dead in the St Stephen’s underpass in Norwich on June 10 2015.
Case officer DC Jeremy Pitt said a murder investigation was launched five days later when a post-mortem examination “ascertained that Mr Meges had been subjected to a violent assault”.
The medical cause of death was given as haemorrhaging and splenic lacerations.
DC Pitt said two men, Dominic McInerney and Dara O’Carroll, were arrested on July 22 2015.
“The case was reviewed by the CPS subsequently, but no charges were preferred,” he said.
They face no further action.
DC Pitt said there are no CCTV cameras within the underpass, but that two people were seen on CCTV entering it at 4am.
“We believe it was Mr O’Carroll and Mr McInerney who entered the subway,” he said.
Asked why by senior coroner for Norfolk Jacqueline Lake, he said it was based on events at the nearby Norwich Central Travelodge earlier that night “and the fact that CCTV within the Travelodge in my opinion shows Mr O’Carroll and Mr McInerney within those premises”.
DC Pitt said there had been “a bit of a commotion” at the Travelodge after a group of Austrian students were followed back from a bar.
He said the two people he believed to be Mr McInerney and Mr O’Carroll were then captured on CCTV heading to the underpass.
After the 4am sighting of two people entering the underpass, two people were captured at the other side of the underpass at 4.07am.
At 4.12am a CCTV camera in nearby St Stephen’s Square captured two people.
“It picks up who we say is Mr McInerney and Mr O’Carroll,” said DC Pitt, who said they were captured on a second camera re-entering the underpass at 4.13am.
“It shows them with their hoods up descending the steps before they go out of view,” he said.
He said that 19 minutes and 44 seconds later they were seen on another camera having left the subway.
Mr Meges was pronounced dead by a paramedic at 7.04am, after the alarm was raised by two homelessness prevention workers who were checking areas where rough sleepers were known to sleep and beg.
DC Pitt said a white iPhone was recovered from Mr O’Carroll’s home and forensically downloaded.
The phone said “Dominic’s iPhone” and had numerous photos of Dominic McInerney on it, DC Pitt said, adding that the device was in contact with the Travelodge wifi at 3.44am on June 10 2015.
He said there was grazing to the forehead of Mr Meges and he believed it was caused by “some kind of shoe with three stripes indicative of a training shoe”.
He said Mr O’Carroll was seen on CCTV wearing a pair of three-striped trainers on the night, adding: “The trainers we believe he was wearing on the night were never recovered.”
Mr O’Carroll “remained totally silent and didn’t answer any questions at all” when interviewed, DC Pitt said.
Mr McInerney attended Monday’s inquest and Mr O’Carroll did not.
Ms Lake asked Mr McInerney if he went out on the evening of June 10 2015.
He replied: “I can’t remember.”
Mr McInerney then declined to answer a series of further questions under rule 22 of the Coroner’s Rules, which states that no witness is obliged to answer any question tending to incriminate him or her.
The inquest is expected to conclude on Tuesday.