AN INQUEST was told how a man died six years after he sustained horrific injuries in a life-changing assault.
Friends and family of 40-year-old Stuart Mottram said he was ‘never the same’ after the attack, which he suffered at the hands of Thomas Rickwood, who was sentenced to eight years in jail for the incident back in 2014.
But despite this a Home Office pathologist concluded that the former forklift driver died from bronchopneumonia as a result of undiagnosed multiple sclerosis – a condition that can affect the brain and spinal cord.
This was despite doctors recording a hypoxic brain injury (disruption in the supply of oxygen to the brain), sustained as a result of the attack, as the cause of death after Mr Mottram , of Burnley, died.
The inquest heard how the side effects of the brain injury sustained by Mr Mottram in the attack would ‘overlap’ with a lot of the symptoms of multiple sclerosis, perhaps offering an explanation into why he was never diagnosed with the condition.
The inquest has now been adjourned by coroner James Newman, who has written to the East Lancashire Hospitals Trust to request a review of how Mr Mottram’s illness was dealt with once he was admitted to hospital.
Speaking after the inquest had been adjourned, Mr Mottram’s mother, Lorraine Arden, said she was shocked to hear that the medical cause of her son’s death was MS.
She said: “Even the doctors and nurses at the hospital were under the impression that Stuart had died as a result of hypoxic brain injuries which he had sustained during the attack.
“To hear that this was not the case and that they are now saying it was undiagnosed MS is quite the shock and something we cannot accept.
“Even if this was the case, the fact he was never diagnosed when he was alive is not acceptable.
“We are not happy with this outcome, but we are satisfied that the inquest has been adjourned so that we can hopefully get some more answers.”
Mr Newman has also written to the neurologist for more clarity on the condition Mr Mottram was suffering from.
He said: “The hypoxic brain injury that Stuart had suffered seemed to steer doctors towards a certain conclusion, but what we have here is two competing neurological conditions - they appear very similar.
He added: “When we started this inquest I genuinely thought we would find a link between Stuart’s death and the assault - there is no one more surprised than me to find out this is not the case.
“But we are working here on a balance of probabilities.
“I don’t want you, the family, to think for a moment that I am dismissing the assault or the horrendous injuries that Stuart suffered.”
The inquest will be re-opened and concluded in the New Year.