A MAN died in his wife’s arms after a gang of teens punched him on his way home from the pub, an inquest heard.
David Cameron, 47, suffered a head injury when he fell to the ground after being struck once on the side of his face in Consett, County Durham, on December 5 2019.
An inquest at Crook Coroner’s Court heard he suffered a heart attack and a “substantial head injury” after the altercation on Southernwood Road at around 5.30pm.
Mr Cameron, a bus driver, was walking home from the pub with his stepdaughter Abbey when the pair passed a group of teen boys, Chronicle Live reports.
A row broke out between him and a 14-year-old and Mr Cameron allegedly pushed the boy before the boy punched him and he fell to the ground.
The inquest heard how neighbours, including Mr Cameron’s wife Carol, rushed out of their homes to perform CPR in an attempt to save his life.
A statement read out in court by Senior Assistant Coroner Crispin Oliver said: “The female in the black coat I later found out to be the wife of the man in the road. She said someone had punched him and he had fallen over.
I felt as if I needed to stop him and I just seen the man trip up the kerb and push my friend. He punches him and he dropped.
“When David was on his back it was clear he wasn’t breathing. David’s wife and my son worked together performing CPR.”
But despite the efforts of nurse Carol and the emergency services, Mr Cameron was pronounced dead.
One eye witness, who was 14 at the time and cannot be named for legal reasons, said they helped walk Mr Cameron part of the way home with his stepdaughter.
In an interview after the incident, they told police: “We were walking along, we seen a man with his stepdaughter.
“The man fell, he got back up and we passed him, and I heard the stepdaughter shout ‘excuse me can you help’.
“I stopped, turned around and helped the man. I had my arm around and helped him.
“The man was quite drunk. He was struggling to walk and his daughter had her arm around him helping him to walk.
“My friend told us to hurry up, I thought he needed help so I turned around.
“The man was telling my friend to ‘shut up and f off’. He seemed angry and wanted to go home.
“He let go of me and the woman and he just walked towards my friend saying ‘come on then’.
“His stepdaughter was telling him to stop. Then my friend kept annoying the man so the man just pushed us out the way and was going towards him.
“I felt as if I needed to stop him and I just seen the man trip up the kerb and push my friend. He punches him and he dropped.”
‘JUST ONE HIT’
In earlier evidence given to the inquest, stepdaughter Abbey said Mr Cameron hadn’t deliberately pushed anyone before he was punched.
But the witness told Senior Assistant Coroner Mr Oliver that “there was definitely a push”.
They added: “It could have been a possibility that he might have stumbled but I seen his hands go up and my friend getting pushed back.”
The witness also told police that Mr Cameron was hit in the face with “quite some force”.
They added: “My friend just hits him. One hit. The next thing I know the man’s fallen.
“I heard the woman screaming ‘David’ and she started shouting his name. She was scared, she didn’t know what was happening.
“My friend said he seen the eyes go back and he was scared.”
The witness told police the group ran away from the scene before neighbours and emergency services arrived, but that they were left shaken by the incident.
When learning of Mr Cameron’s death, the witness said “our jaws just dropped”.
They told police: “I feel like a horrible person, I shouldn’t have been there in the first place.
“The man looked like he was angry, but I don’t think he would have been able to hurt my friend because of how drunk he was.
“I don’t think there was any need for him to hit the man. He could have just walked off and he would have not been able to hurt him.”
One of the teens was arrested on suspicion of murder but was later released.
In May 2020, Durham Constabulary released a statement which said: “A teenager who was arrested in connection with the tragic death of a Consett man has been released with no further action.
“The 14-year-old was arrested on suspicion of murder after 47-year-old David Cameron died following an altercation in Southernwood, Consett, last December.
“Detectives from Durham Constabulary’s Major Crime Team carried out a thorough investigation into Mr Cameron’s death, which included reviewing all of the relevant CCTV footage, completing detailed forensic and pathology work, carrying out house-to-house enquiries and obtaining accounts from all those who witnessed the incident.”
The inquest continues.