Inquest: Norwich man hit by car on A47 suffered from dementia

A man who died after being knocked down on the A47 might have been trying to return to his home from a respite care home he was at, an inquest has heard.

Thomas Hodgkinson, 83, was pronounced dead on March 11 last year after he was struck by a car on the A47 at Acle.

A postmortem was carried out with cause of death said to be multiple injuries due to a road traffic collision with dementia and ischemic heart condition contributory factors.

An inquest held in Norwich yesterday heard Mr Hodgkinson, who suffered from moderate dementia, lived at Union Street, Norwich, but had been reported missing from the Herondale Respite Care Home in Acle before he walked onto the A47 and into the path of a car on March 10 last year.

A statement read on behalf of Aaron Hacon, the driver of the car, said he saw what appeared to be a man on the road. The man was moving with his back to Mr Hacon, then 'took a complete change of direction' and Mr Hacon swerved and braked but was unable to avoid him.

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Giving evidence PC Keith Wiseman referred to a report compiled by PC Simon Hall which revealed witnesses saw Mr Hodgkinson crossing the eastbound carriageway of the A47 on foot with two drivers having to take avoiding action. One of the conclusions of the report, which stated there was 'nothing Mr Hacon could've done to avoid the collision', stated it was possible Mr Hodgkinson 'may have been trying to return to his home address in Norwich'.

The inquest heard Mr Hodgkinson's dementia led to him being progressively more muddled and forgetful.

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It was a source of frustration at home and resulted in arguments between Mr Hodgkinson, who also had problems with depression, and his wife Hilda.

Mr Hodgkinson, who often attend the Julian Hospital, to allow the couple to have time apart and his condition be assessed, was said to be opposed to respite care.

Lisa Breame, a community mental health nurse, said Mr Hodgkinson was 'adamant' he did not want respite care as 'his concern was that it would be the end of the relationship'. She added: 'He didn't want that, he loved her dearly.'

The inquest continues.

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