Date: 30 Apr 2018
Hilary Simmons died following an attempted theft from a Tesco Express store.
Four people were arrested in relation to her manslaughter but later released without charge.
Hilary Simmons had worked at the Tesco Express store on Corporation Road in Middlesbrough and had confronted a shoplifter outside the store on 30 April 2018 at about 7.30pm after which she had felt unwell and collapsed and later died.
Her post-mortem showed that she had a heart disease that could have otherwise caused her death at any time and the pathologist said that the stress of the confrontation of the incident 'directly contributed to her death' but not to a criminal standard.
The shoplifter was later convicted of theft.
He had gone into the Tesco Express store and concealed a bottle of wine inside his jacket but Hilary Simmons had confronted him as he left. When he was interviewed by the police he said that Hilary Simmons shouted and swore at him although that was denied by other witnesses.
He denied pushing her and said that Hilary Simmons had prevented him from leaving, which was also disputed by witnesses.
CCTV showed the shoplifter and another man leaving the store, followed by Hilary Simmons who was seen to speak to them.
Following the incident Hilary Simmons went back to work but complained of feeling unwell and told fellow workers, 'I feel like I'm having a heart attack'. She collapsed about 30 minutes later and was taken to James Cook University Hospital in Middlesbrough where she died later that evening.