Date: 22 Aug 2009
Richard Clarke was assaulted in the driveway of his home and later died in hospital.
He had been out with a friend during the day from 3pm on 21 August 2009 at The Horseshoes Public House in Billingford and had later taken a taxi home at 6.45pm. On the way home he stopped off in Eye to pick up a Chinese meal at about 7pm and got home at about 7.15pm. The taxi was from Able Taxis's in Diss and he had had a female driver who said that Richard Clarke had needed assistance from the landlord to get in the taxi but had described him as a 'total gentleman'. She said that he kept apologising for being drunk and saying that he didn't normally get like that. The taxi driver said that when she left him she saw him walking to his house and noted that he had known exactly where he had had to go.
He was later seen in his driveway about 45 minutes later at 8pm by a couple that drove past his house, sitting up and holding his head. They said that they assumed that he was okay after they drove past again and saw him in the same position.
He was later found seriously injured in his driveway at 6am the following morning, 22 August 2009, by a dog walker. An ambulance was called at 6.12am and he was taken to the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital where he later died at 7.40am.
Three post-mortems were carried out on his body after the police said that they continued to have unanswered questions.
At his inquest the Coroner ruled that Richard Clarke had been hit on the cheek and fallen and then hit his head and also dragged. He said 'On the basis of the inquiries I am satisfied beyond reasonable doubt that Richard lost his life as a result of unlawful actions.'. The forensic pathologist that carried out the third post-mortem and found the fracture on his right cheekbone noted that it had not been found in the first two post-mortems. He said that there were no grazes on Richard Clarke's face which suggested that the fracture had been caused by a single blow such as a punch from a third party causing him to propel backwards striking his head. The forensic pathologist said that Richard Clarke's skull was fractured and bruised. He also said that he thought that Richard Clarke had been dragged along the ground, possibly by one of his arms.
Richard Clarke had eaten some of his Chinese food out in the driveway.
A man was arrested soon after he died but was released without being charged.
Richard Clarke was a retired thatcher.