Bury St Edmunds: Inquest Into Man's Death After Hospital Attack

3 January 2014, 10:25 | Updated: 3 January 2014, 10:33

An inquest is being held later into the death of a man days after he was attacked in West Suffolk Hospital.

86-year-old Richard Bowman was being treated for a chest infection when his family say he was attack by a dementia patient.

But Suffolk Police have told Heart a post mortem showed Mr Bowman died from natural causes.

He died on December 8th, 12 days after the attack.

A spokesman for West Suffolk Hospital said: "We would like to take this opportunity to extend our sincere condolences to the patient's family.

"We are taking this incident extremely seriously and are carrying out a full internal investigation.''

A Suffolk Police spokesman told Heart: “A post mortem examination has been held into the death of an 86-year-old man from Exning who died at West Suffolk Hospital on Saturday 7 December.
“The result of the PM was that the man died of natural causes and as such the death is not being treated as suspicious.
“This matter will now be dealt with by the coroner.
“Officers continue to investigate reports of an assault against the deceased man at the hospital on the 25 November 2013.”

Mr Bowman's family told the Daily Mail that Mr Bowman should never have been left alone with the patient.

His son Charles Hawes, 43, told the newspaper: "He was lying on his bed getting ready to fall asleep and this chap just came over and started laying into him with a bottle.

"He was much too weak and elderly to fight back.''

Mr Bowman, from Exning near Ely, Cambridgeshire, served with the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers before running a number of businesses, including an estate agency.

He had been admitted to hospital with a chest infection.