Date: 18 Jul 1944
Place: Preston, Lancashire
William Heatley died from general blood poisoning following an incident.
William Heatley was a motor driver and had been lodging at 4 Malt Street in Preston.
He had been involved in a scene with his landlord in which his landlord said that William Heatley attacked him after he told him that he would have to leave because of his drinking.
However, at his inquest, a policeman said that William Heatley told him that the injuries for which he had been admitted to hospital for had been caused when he had been knocked down by a jeep.
The police concluded by stating that it as not altogether clear how he sustained the injuries from which he died.
The pathologist at the Royal Infirmary said that his death was due to general blood poisoning caused through an abscess at the base of his spine due to bruising caused either by a kick, a blow or a fall.
His son, a cycle dealer who lived in London Road, said that William Heatley, whilst in drink, would become hasty tempered, aggressive and rather abusive.
A woman who lived at 3 Malt Street and another woman who had lived in Queen Street said that they had been standing in Malt Street on 29 May 1944 at about 10.45pm when they saw William Heatley and his landlord enter 4 Malt Street. She said that they then heard the sounds of a fight and that William Heatley was then found on the floor. The woman said that William Heatley had been drinking but was not drunk and that he had 'asked for it'.
A policeman that arrived at the scene said that the landlord looked as though he had been in a rough-and-tumble.
William Heatley was initially admitted to Preston Royal Infirmary on 29 May 1944 for treatment for face cuts and bruises and was later re-admitted on 16 June 1944 before dying on 18 July 1944.
An open verdict was returned at his inquest.
see Lancashire Evening Post - Tuesday 29 August 1944