A 31-year-old man found dead next to a stream had been involved in three separate incidents which could have caused fatal head injuries in the hours leading up to his death, an inquest has heard.
Father-of-six Gary Roscoe of Plantation Street, Bacup, was found dead close to a stream off Deansgreave Road in Britannia on Tuesday, January 30, 2018, a hearing at Burnley Magistrates’ Court heard.
Mr Roscoe, who was described as ‘dearly loved and much missed’ by his family, had been involved in a fist fight with his brother, jumped from a second story window on to wheelie bins while evading police at his home and also jumped from 15 foot high bridge in a short period before he perished.
The court heard that the afternoon before his death Mr Roscoe had been drinking at the Cobblers and Riverside pubs and had been asked to leave the latter after a glass was smashed.
Giving evidence to the court, Mr Roscoe’s brother Julian, said that around 8pm on January 29 he had been waiting outside his brother’s home on Plantation Street when Mr Roscoe and Gary’s partner Toni Lee Crook had arrived in a car.
Julian told the hearing he said been frustrated at how long his brother had been and said ‘about time’ sarcastically to him.
He said Gary appeared ‘angry’ and a fight had developed during which, acting in self defence he had punched his Gary ‘about five times’.
The fight left both men with facial injuries. Julian Roscoe then smashed a window of the house with a brick before leaving.
The court heard that over the course of the evening the family of Mr Roscoe became increasingly concerned for his welfare and contacted police.
Three officers then visited him at the Plantation Street house where they intended to take him to hospital for assistance.
Detective Inspector Tim McDermott told the court that Mr Roscoe was not suspected of a crime and the police were only there to help him.
He said: “He asked to go upstairs to put his shoes on but did not return.
“Officers went upstairs and saw a skylight window to the roof was open which is the only way he could have got out.”
He said he believed Mr Roscoe used a satellite dish to clamber part way down before falling onto wheelie bins below,
He said that such was the drop from the two storey building ‘he would have landed with a fair old thump’.
In the early hours of January 30, Mr Roscoe went to his partner’s family’s address off Deansgreave Road.
His partner Toni Lee Crook said while there he saw a neighbour using a head mounted torch and believing it was the police again, ran off down the lane. It it believed Mr Roscoe then went over a nearby 15-foot bridge on to ‘frozen and rutted’ ground.
A post mortem report found that Mr Roscoe had died from a bleed on the brain which all three of the incidents could have caused.
Toxicology reports found a low level of alcohol along with evidence of ketamine and cannabis use. Although Mr Roscoe was found next to a stream there was no evidence of drowning as a cause of death.
The inquest was told that Julian Roscoe had initially been arrested on suspicion of murder but he was cleared of wrongdoing, the case was dropped, and there is now no suggestion of any criminal actions relating to Gary’s death.
Speaking after the hearing, Toni Lee Crook said: “Gary was dearly loved and will be missed forever by his children and family.”
Coroner Richard Taylor recorded a narrative conclusion. He said: “We have no idea where the head injury originated.
“Three incidents have been identified and are distinct. It does appear the fall from the roof could be significant but it is not possible to prove which one caused the head injury.”