Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Mystery of Dad's Death

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Mystery of Dad's Death

Article excerpt

Byline: Marie Levy

A shocked inquest heard that police evidence suggested a man found dead at home could have been killed by his son.

DS Stephen Young of Cleveland Police said the death of Alan Johnson, 58, of Eshwood Square, Middlesbrough, was suspicious as his family had given different accounts of what happened.

They had left the former Gazette community champion lying dead at the bottom of his stairs for more than an hour before calling an ambulance, the hearing was told.

Mr Johnson's neck was broken in the plunge down the stairs at his first floor flat minutes after a violent family feud on March 20 last year.

The inquest heard that his wife Margaret, daughter Natalie and son Alan junior were arrested on suspicion of murder when police realised they had waited an hour and 20 minutes before calling 999.

Inquiries were carried out in Whitby, after Mr Johnson junior, who used to live in the town, allegedly told friends he had killed his father. But none of them could confirm this.

DS Young said: "It would appear the death of Alan Johnson senior was suspicious and evidence suggests it may have been Alan Johnson junior who was responsible for his father's death. However, at this moment in time the evidence is not sufficient to bring about any charges."

Paramedics said Mr Johnson had been dead for some time when they found him face down with his legs pointing back up the stairs. They also heard Miss Johnson comment that it was 'self defence'.

They were called to the scene at 6.29pm but a police investigation revealed Mr Johnson had died around 5pm.

At about 4.45pm a care worker in a neighbouring property heard fighting, the inquest heard.

"It was as if furniture was being thrown against the wall. I thought the wall was going to cave in," she told the inquest. "All of a sudden it went quiet."

The Coroner was told that Mr Johnson had hit his wife and his daughter and had to be restrained by his son. …

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