Three Held After Bedford Man's Death

19 August 2010, 11:29 | Updated: 20 August 2010, 10:55

The family of Josip Jovanovic have released a statement regarding his death.

Mr Jovanovic, aged 57, of Home Street, died yesterday afternoon after being involved in a confrontation with someone who it is believed was trying to steal his bike. 

A post mortem has found that Mr Jovanovic did not die from the minor injuries sustained as a result of the incident at the Embankment, however, the pathologist has ordered further tests in relation to his heart.

The boys aged 12, 13 and 15, who were arrested on Wednesday afternoon, have been released on conditional bail in respect on manslaughter and attempted robbery. They will return to Greyfriars Police Station on September 28th

While the result of the PM means that the police are not treating this incident as murder, detectives are still investigating the circumstances surrounding the death and would still like to hear from anyone who saw anything suspicious at the pedestrian area at the back of Borough Hall (formerly County Hall) at 2.30pm yesterday (Wednesday). 

Widower Mr Jovanovic had lived in Bedford for 11 years. He had a long term partner Danuta Jwanicka who lives in Bedford. He was father to four daughters, one of whom was killed in Croatia at the age of 17. One of his daughters is still resident in Croatia and there are two other married daughters in England. One is local to Bedford, the other lives in Newcastle. Mr Jovanovic had not been employed for some time. 

Daughter Zeljka Jovanovic, her husband Bojan Petrovic, Nedeljka Jovanovic and her husband Zeljko Mihajlija said that Mr Jovanovic had been a good and kind man. 

“He was a good man who loved the sport of fishing. He would never hurt anybody and was kind to everybody – he had many friends.He enjoyed his life in Bedford, especially as he could go fishing near the flat. He said he was very happy in Bedford and enjoyed seeing his family here, and his wife is buried in the cemetery here. We came to this country because of the war in Croatia. We didn’t want to fight and kill people, we wanted to live freely and find peace and be kind to everybody.” 

Mr Petrovic said: “We came to visit from Newcastle every few months and if he was well enough we would go fishing, then come home and he would make a nice meal.  Sometimes he would make a barbecue outside the flat - in fact he had prepared dinner for us before he went out fishing yesterday and left it ready for when he came in. I respected him greatly and we would talk and laugh in front of the television, he used to tell his story and he was a fine man. This has been a great shock and we miss him very much, he was everything to us and now we must be strong together as a family.” 

Anyone with information can contact Bedfordshire Police on 01234 841212, text 07786 200011, or call Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.