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‘Popular’ man who died following altercation had undiagnosed heart condition

PUBLISHED: 06:30 19 September 2020 | UPDATED: 13:26 19 September 2020

Kenneth Hawker, 68, has been described as a

Kenneth Hawker, 68, has been described as a "popular member of the local community". Photo: Norfolk Constabulary, supplied by Kenneth's family.

Archant

A “popular” man who died following an argument in the street had an undiagnosed heart condition, an inquest has revealed.

The air ambulance was called out. Pictures: BRITTANY WOODMANThe air ambulance was called out. Pictures: BRITTANY WOODMAN

Kenneth Hawker died following the incident on Middle Market Road, in Great Yarmouth, on April 22, with another man initially arrested and questioned by Norfolk Police.

The 67-year-old, who lived yards away on Cobbs Place, was found to have an undiagnosed heart condition following a Home Office post-mortem.

In May, officers confirmed the other man, aged in his 50s, would face no further action following a full investigation.

An inquest into Mr Hawker’s death was held at Norfolk Coroner’s Court on Friday, September 18.

The scene at Middle Market Road in Great Yarmouth. Photo: Chris FloydThe scene at Middle Market Road in Great Yarmouth. Photo: Chris Floyd

In a statement read at the inquest, his wife of 40 years Denise Hawker said: “Time was irrelevant because of the Covid-lockdown, but sometime around lunch time we decided to go out for our daily exercise and some shopping.

“There was a car parked on the pavement with the passenger door open. We walked through the gap and were just passed when a woman said ‘it would’ve taken two seconds to walk around’.

“Ken pointed out pavements are for walking on and a man got out of the car and into Ken’s face.”

The two pushed and kicked out at each other in the street, with Mr Hawker falling to the floor at one point, in an incident which lasted a matter of minutes.

With residents calling from windows on the pair to stop, Mr Hawker and his wife left the scene, before he collapsed in the street.

An air ambulance was called while emergency services fought to save Mr Hawker.

A postmortem found Mr Hawker had an advanced natural disease in his heart, which made him more vulnerable to cardiac dysrhythmia. No alcohol was found in his system, while there was also no major injuries sustained in the incident.

Norfolk’s assistant coroner Johanna Thompson recorded a narrative conclusion following the inquest, saying: “Mr Hawker died on April 22 at Middle Market Road, in Great Yarmouth, following an altercation.

“He had a previously undiagnosed but naturally occurring medical condition.”

In a tribute following his death, Mr Hawker’s family described him as “a popular member of the local community” who had many friends.


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