Unsolved Murders

Joseph Augustus Hedley

Age: 50

Sex: male

Date: 5 Mar 1962

Place: Coventry

Joseph Augustus Hedley died following a road accident.

An open verdict was returned.

It was heard that the question of whether he died as a result of injuries received in a road accident, or whether his death was from natural causes, was left unanswered.

He had been involved in a road accident whilst riding his cycle on 17 January 1962 and broke his leg. He spent three weeks in hospital and was later released on 6 February. However, on 24 February he began having fits and was readmitted to hospital where he died on 5 March.

His inquest heard that the driver of the car involved in the accident had been prosecuted for careless driving at Coventry Magistrates Court and found guilty.

A consultant pathologist at the Midland centre of neuro-surgery, said that a post mortem examination revealed a clot in the middle cerebral artery. He said that there were no obvious effects upon the brain but that microscopic examinations revealed nerve cell degeneration.

He noted additionally that Joseph Hedley also contracted broncho-pneumonia of the left upper lobe of the lung, which could have developed through him lying in bed with a leg in plaster.

However, he said that his cause of death was lack of blood to the brain due to thrombosis of the middle artery.

He agreed that it was possible that the injuries received in the accident could have caused his death, but added that the clot developed a considerable period after the accident and that he thought his death could have been due to natural causes.

He added that he found no evidence of any injury to his head.

The Coroner noted that it was an unusual case, saying:

Normally after a road accident, the cause of death is only too obvious, but it is not so with this case.

Joseph Hedley had been a Jamaican and had lived at 52 King Edward Road in Coventry.

He had been a labourer with Morris Motors Ltd.

*map pointers are rough estimates based on known location details as per Place field above.

see www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk

see Coventry Evening Telegraph - Saturday 10 March 1962