Date: 16 Apr 2014
Place: Hart Lane, Hartlepool
Gary Hart died nine days after being attacked by three men in the street and hit with an iron bar.
He had suffered severe injuries to his ribs.
The police initially charged a man with manslaughter, but later dropped the charge.
It was heard that at the time of his death Gary Hart had taken heroin and crack cocaine and the medical evidence was unable to determine that the attack or the injuries received by the iron bar had been the cause of his death.
The coroner said to Gary Hart's family, 'I accept you will always have a suspicion bordering on certainty your loved one would not have died had he not been attacked. But I hope you understand the prosecution would have to satisfy a jury so that they are sure of that. The medical evidence is not capable of doing that, so I agree with the course the prosecution has taken in this case'.